Last week, the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) concluded their second visit to received updates from the Organising Committee (LYOGOC) on the status of preparations for the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016 .
During two days of informative meetings held in Gjovik, which will host the short track events in 2016, LYOGOC shared with the Commission their ambitious and exciting vision for delivering an event ‘for young people, by young people’ based on their core values: "playful and determined", "awesome and humble". Other Commission members present included Olympic skeleton racer Adam Pengilly and two-time Olympic champion short track skater Yang Yang, who had particularly fond memories of Gjovik as the location of her first ever World Championships in 1995.
Staying true to these values, this small team can count a number of achievements since the Commissions first visit in October 2012. They have brought on new members of staff – namely Financial Controller, Head of Culture and Education Programme and Head of Games Operations – connected with key stakeholders and created a strong network of external experts.
The Commission, chaired by Olympic ice hockey champion Angela Ruggiero, was also pleased to receive presentations on the overall concept of the Culture and Education Programme, legacy commitments, a review of the Venue Master Plan and a first overview of the Marketing and Communications plans. Also of particular note, LYOGOC gave an update on the Youth Olympic Village, which received a green light for construction ahead of schedule, while construction of the ice hockey training venue is well on track.
Speaking after the meetings, Miss Ruggiero said: "This is crucial time for LYOGOC as they start building the foundations for their project and establishing their vision, mission, and ambition for the YOG 2016".
"Already, they have demonstrated a full understanding of the YOG spirit, working with students and young people from the region in a “playful and determined, awesome and humble” manner, as their values state, and their vision is very well in line with the IOC vision of the YOG (...) The IOC is in no doubt they will deliver an unforgettable experience to the young participants, local youth and beyond and we look forward to going on this journey with them".
Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement,
having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between February 26th and March 6th 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).