Two months after the competition opened, over 100 entries later and after an exciting online voting on Facebook, the winner of the Innsbruck 2012 Mascot Competition were announced. The design of a goat dressed in lederhosen submitted by Luis Andrés Abbiati and Florenica Demaria from Argentina, gained 1,032 of the total 2,099 online votes. Once it has been adapted to the traditional Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2012 pixel design, the official YOG 2012 mascot will be released in early February 2011.
The big online design competition was created to give young people from all over the world the unique opportunity to actively participate in the design of the official YOG 2012 mascot. A total of 104 designs from participants from 15 different countries were submitted, from amongst others, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Malaysia. 75 of these entries were sent from Austria, some of which came from schools. The top three designs – a snowman, a goat and an ibex – were chosen by the YOG 2012 Organising Committee, the final decision for the goat was made by the fans through a tense five-day online voting on the official YOG 2012 Facebook page.
As has often been the case in the history of the Olympics, the official YOG 2012 mascot will be an animal too. The idea of the goat came from 25-year-old Luis Andrés Abbiati from Argentina who found the competition on the internet. Together with his 24-year-old girlfriend Florenica, they carefully designed their submission. The appearance and clothing of the goat reflect the lifestyle and landscape of the host region while also combining the present with the past. Its graceful figure reflects the athletic aspect of the games and its youthful character will hopefully inspire interest and enthusiasm for the first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic values friendship, respect and the striving for excellence from young people all around the world. Florencia: "It is a great honour for Luis and me to know that our design will be involved in the first Winter Youth Olympic Games". Second place went to the ibex, designed by Sabrina Tay from Singapore and third place went to Theresa Lechleitner from Tirol with her snowman.
In the coming weeks, in accordance with the International Olympic Committee, the goat will be adapted to the cool YOG 2012 pixel design, which combines the quadratic shape of the YOG 2012 logo with the colours of the Olympic rings.
The first Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place between 13 and 22 January 2012. The Winter Youth Olympic Games will be a 10-day multi-sport, 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.
Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria) was the host city to the Olympic Winter Games back in 1964 and 1976 (Innsbruck replaces Denver at short notice to host the Winter Games after the people of the state of Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the Games).