The Coordination Commission of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games concluded its first visit to Innsbruck last Wednesday. Ten months after the announcement of the host city on 12 December 2008, the Innsbruck Organising Committee (IYOGOC) has established all the foundations necessary to stage the Games in 2012. "We are impressed with the progress of preparations and the quality of the venues to be used for the Youth Olympic Games. IYOGOC is very much on track with the involvement of all local authorities through the Olympia Forum Tirol", said Gian-Franco Kasper, Chairman of the Coordination Commission, at the end of the visit.
The Coordination Commission had the opportunity to visit all venues in Innsbruck and Seefeld that will stage the 63 events in seven sports.
IYOGOC presented its updated Youth Olympic Village concept which defines the location of dining facilities and services for NOC delegations at Innsbruck Congress Centre alongside the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) activities. The members of the Coordination Commission are convinced that this combination of facilities will foster a sociable and highly interactive atmosphere where athletes will be able to live together and learn in optimal conditions.
The Organising Committee presented its initial CEP concept and how it intends to reach out to young people both digitally and physically through partnerships such as Tirol Marketing Service. "The Youth Olympic Games shall be a great experience not only for the athletes, but also for the whole Tyrolean community", said Tyrolean Vice-Governor Hannes Gschwentner.
One of the greatest challenges faced by IYOGOC will be the timely construction of the apartment buildings that will constitute the residential zone of the Youth Olympic Village. The project will require close monitoring and collaboration between the Organising Committee and the developers to ensure that construction and planning are well integrated.
"Presentations were of a high standard and we have the feeling that our partners in Innsbruck have well understood the mission entrusted to them. With only two years to go before the opening of the Games, we will have to keep up both pace and vigilance with regards to preparations", concluded Gian-Franco Kasper.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games will be a 10-day multi-sport (between 13 and 22 January 2012) cultural and educational event. The Games will bring together 1,048 athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees. 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.