POSTED: November 3rd 2008

Innsbruck and Kuopio for YOG 2012

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Innsbruck, Austria, and Kuopio, Finland have emerged as the finalist cities bidding to host the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2012.

The IOC executive board last week approved the two short-listed cities from the bids by Harbin (China),  Innsbruck (picture, above) , Kuopio and Lillehammer (Norway). This decision was taken after the IOC evaluation commission’s final report on the cities up for consideration.

The two cities will be submitted to IOC members in a postal vote with the winning host city to be announced by president Jacques Rogge via webcam on the IOC website on December 12.

The commission, chaired by Swedish skier Pernilla Wiberg, focused on the risks related to organizing the event and the short timeframe of only three years' preparations for the first winter YOG.

The voting process will include all IOC members, excluding the Austrian and Finnish members linked to the two bids. An independent certified notary in Lausanne, Switzerland has been engaged to guarantee the confidentiality of the vote.

The city with the highest number of votes will be elected and in the event of a tie the president will consult the executive board for a final decision.

The Winter YOG will gather young athletes aged between 14 and 18 from around the world to compete in the same sports which feature on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games programme.

Approximately 1,000 athletes and 500 team officials are expected to attend the new event designed to focus on the Olympic values, the benefits of sport for a healthy lifestyle, the social values sport can deliver and awareness of the dangers of doping and of training to excess and/or of inactivity.

The IOC concept is to reach out to the world’s youth to bring in a younger audience and inspire children and young people to engage in a more sports-oriented lifestyle.

The commission was composed of Pernilla Wiberg (athletes' commission), Victor Khotochkin (NOC representative), Fredi Schmid (IF representative), Martin Rutishauser (member, EYOF commission of the EOC), Gilbert Felli (IOC Olympic Games executive director), Christophe Dubi (IOC sports director) and Essar Gabriel (IOC head of Youth Olympic Games).

Keywords · Innsbruck · Austria · Kuopio · Finland · Winter Youth Olympic Games · YOG 2012

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Laura Walden ()

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