Friday, May 23, 2014

Lillehammer 2016 Update

After a two-day action-packed visit from IOC President Thomas Bach, the team working on the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) got down to business with the IOC Coordination Commission, headed by double Olympic ice hockey champion Angela Ruggiero, for two days of progress updates, guidance and idea-sharing with the Organising Committee (LYOGOC).
With just over 18 months to go until the 2nd Winter YOG, the team has made good progress since the previous IOC Coordination Commission visit last autumn. LYOGOC has grown from four permanent members of staff to 20. This figure will increase to a modest 90 people during the Games themselves, while drawing upon the strong local network of experts with a wealth of Olympic and international event experience who will act as mentors to the young future sporting leaders. In addition, 2,300 volunteers will be in operation during Games time.
The team has made great strides in raising awareness of the YOG. A first major marketing partner has been announced with Adecco, and young people are at the centre of all initiatives, with local college students and young designers creating the "Look of the Games", emblem and pictograms. The latter were unveiled by the IOC President earlier this week with the help of athletes aiming to compete at Lillehammer 2016, topped off with a “selfie” photo that was shared on social media.
LYOGOC are also drawing upon the success of Norway’s Sochi 2014 athletes to help raise the profile of the Games, and are aiming to build upon this in the coming months.
Coordination Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero commented, "The progress made so far this year is impressive. This small team has really embraced the YOG spirit, not just in their approach and engagement with young people, but also in the way they have put young people at the heart of the organisation while drawing on the rich Olympic knowledge existing in the area".
Finally, before leaving Lillehammer, the IOC President asked the organisers to give their valuable input to the Olympic Agenda 2020 project; to propose their ideas and innovations to keep the YOG unique and inspiring for young athletes.
LYOGOC CEO, Thomas Holmestad said, "We are truly grateful for the open dialogue we have with the IOC, and we really appreciate how much the IOC prioritises the YOG. We are encouraged by the trust they show us by constantly challenging us to come up with new ideas for how the YOG should be in the future".

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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