The Coordination Commission of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games concluded last Wednesday its second visit to the city of Innsbruck. The Commission, led by its Chairman, Gian-Franco Kasper, received updates from the Organising Committee (IYOGOC) on the status of preparations for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 and met with local partners and government authorities. The two-day session allowed IYOGOC to present the outcome of its strategic planning phase, including an initial Culture and Education Programme (CEP) concept and an updated Youth Olympic Village (YOV) project. Organisers will from now on begin to focus on the operational delivery of the Games.
The Commission validated Innsbruck’s competition venue master plan, including the slopestyle and ski cross venues in Kühtai. The Commission was happy to note that some of the already existing and high quality venues are being further developed and will leave a lasting legacy in the Tyrol region. Seefeld, for example, is constructing a new ski jump platform and biathlon facilities which will strengthen its position as a Nordic sports centre. Included in the programme of the Commission’s meetings was a site visit to the Alpine skiing area of Patscherkofel, where the Commission could witness the recent groundwork that has been carried out. The Commission was also impressed by the construction project for the YOV, which is progressing on schedule and will provide accommodation for approximately 1,660 athletes and officials from 13 to 22 January 2012.
Commenting after the meeting, Gian-Franco Kasper said, "We have had very productive meetings with our partners at Innsbruck 2012. Much progress has been made since our first visit to the host city last October, and the team at IYOGOC has grown significantly to cope with the increasing workload and detailed planning. The Commission was particularly impressed by the dynamic and innovative qualities of the young team in place and is confident that Innsbruck will host great Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012".
Tyrolean Vice-Governor Hannes Gschwentner said: "The preparations for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games are proceeding well. The young team under the leadership of Peter Bayer is working hard and doing an excellent job".
Innsbruck 2012 will be able to draw on the experience and the lessons learned by the Singapore 2010 Organising Committee through its participation in the IOC Observer Programme organised during the Games in Singapore this summer and the official debrief that will be held a few months after the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games as part of the IOC’s knowledge management programme.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, to be held between 13 and 22 January 2012, will bring together 1,048 athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in the seven sports on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games programme.