Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Innsbruck and Kuopio finalists to host the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012

The International Olympic Committee has revealed the names of the finalist Candidate Cities from which the host city for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 will be elected. Innsbruck and Kuopio were selected by the IOC Executive Board, and will now be submitted to a postal vote by the IOC members. The host city will be announced by IOC President Jacques Rogge in a live web cast on http://www.olympic.org/, provisionally scheduled for 12 December 2008.
The EB's decision on the two finalists was based on an IOC Evaluation Commission Report. Chaired by Pernilla Wiberg, the Commission assessed the projects of the four shortlisted Candidate Cities - Harbin (CHI), Innsbruck (AUT), Kuopio (FIN) and Lillehammer (NOR). The report focused on the risks associated with the organisation of the Games within the timeframe of only three years to plan and prepare to host the first edition of this new event.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games will be a 10-day multi-sport, cultural and educational event.The age groups participating in a sport or discipline will vary between 14 and 18 years. The programme of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games will be established on the basis of the seven sports included in the Vancouver 2010 programme (Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Curling, Ice Hockey, Luge, Skating and Skiing).The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will highlight the different sports and provide an efficient platform to motivate young people to “get active” and adhere to the Olympic spirit. Each edition of the YOG will leave a consistent legacy for the young people of the host country, and the host city will have also a great opportunity to present itself to the world during the Games as the Olympic Youth Capital, therefore shaping its image as a youth-friendly city that offers a multitude of attractive places and events."By creating the Youth Olympic Games on 5 July 2007, the IOC played its role as a catalyst for the sports movement. It showed that its commitment to the youth of today and tomorrow is about action, not just words, by offering them an event of their own in the spirit of the Olympic Games" (Jacques Rogge, IOC President).