New Zealand Team athlete Dylan Schmidt has connected with school students to mark Olympic Day and release an educational video resource to help children overcome challenges and cope with change after lockdown.

The Rio Olympian visited Auckland’s Somerville Intermediate School to talk with students and launch the Ask an Olympian student resource, as part of the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Education Programme.

The Ask an Olympian video features New Zealand Team athletes DJ Forbes, David Liti, Caitlin Ryan and Alexis Pritchard answering questions sent in from local students relating to the challenges New Zealanders have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 has had different impacts for all of us. We’ve been dealing with the postponement of the Olympic Games and for many kids they’ve had to deal with family hardship and change,” said trampolinist Dylan Schmidt.

“It’s been a challenging time so it’s great to connect with these kids and share some ideas and advice.”

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12-year-old Sommerville student Jesse Sanders says he's been inspired by the visit from Dylan and the video.

“It was awesome to hear from a real life Olympian and also get advice from other athletes on the video. It’s made me even more motivated to achieve my goals.”

NZOC Education Manager Rob Page says the Ask an Olympian video connects Olympic values with school values, while also putting a focus on students’ wellbeing.

“This resource teaches students about how to cope with challenges and will inspire them to live to the Olympic values of pride, excellence, respect, leadership and integrity,” said Page.

“We’ve launched the video on Olympic day because we thought this was the perfect opportunity to further connect our Olympic athletes with New Zealand’s school students. We hope that it’s enjoyed by kids across the country.”

The NZOC’s education resources are used by 7,000 teachers across New Zealand.

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