Monday, May 19, 2014

IOC President Thomas Bach Meets Harald V, King of Norway

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, today met His Majesty the King of Norway, Harald V, at the Royal Castle in Oslo, ahead of a visit to Lillehammer for meetings with the local organisers of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
President Bach spoke at length with the King about the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place in Lillehammer from 12 to 21 February 2016.
"We discussed the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games, which will use only pre-existing venues, and the legacy these Games will bring to the region and the country", said President Bach. "We also discussed the Culture and Education Programme, which is an integral part of the Games and helps to develop the Olympic values in all the participants".
Earlier in the day the IOC President visited 'Olympiatoppen', the NOC's high performance sport centre to meet with young athletes training for both the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. Joining the IOC President were IOC Members Gerhard Heiberg and Angela Ruggiero, who is also Chair of the Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission.
On Tuesday, President Bach will meet representatives from the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee and go on a venue tour. Existing infrastructure from the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games will be used for the Lillehammer 2016 YOG, obviating the need for the construction of any new venues and creating a further legacy from those Games. They will also visit the site of the Youth Olympic Village (YOV), which is being built with a subsidy of EUR 13.5 million from the IOC, who will also cover the travel and accommodation costs of all attending athletes and officials in the YOV during their stay which will be approximately EUR 4 million.

The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.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).

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