Today July 14th, Omega, the Official Timekeeper of the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, unveiled the Countdown Clock that will tick down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the start of the Opening Ceremony on 13 January 2012. The clock is located in the heart of Innsbruck, at the intersection between Maria-Theresien-Strasse and Burggraben, one of the most frequented areas of the city and just a stone's throw from many of the most popular tourist attractions. On hand for the unveiling were OMEGA Timing General Manager Christophe Berthaud, Innsbruck 2012 CEO Peter Bayer, and Mayor of Innsbruck Christine Oppitz-Plörer. The trio was joined by the mayors of Seefeld and Kühtai, regions which will also host competitions during the 2012 Games, as well plenty of famous former Olympic champions including legendary ski racers Franz Klammer and Fritz Strobl.
The unveiling event took place exactly half a year before the start of the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games. The local organisers are proud that Innsbruck has been selected to host the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games and particularly excited that no other city has ever had the honour of staging three Olympic Winter Games. Innsbruck 2012 CEO Peter Bayer explained the importance of the OMEGA Countdown Clock: "Standing four metres high and over two metres wide, the spectacular Countdown Clock in the heart of Innsbruck is a fantastic way of showing that the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games are getting ever closer! The clock also underlines the important role timekeeping will play at the Games and makes every single moment even more tangible for athletes, officials and fans alike. We are proud to have OMEGA as a strong, reliable and professional partner. Together we will write sporting history".
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).