INNSBRUCK - Innsbruck will host the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. The result was unveiled by IOC President Jacques Rogge at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Innsbruck (Austria) beat Kuopio (Finland) in the final by 84 votes to 15.
"We had two outstanding finalists which were both able to stage the Youth Olympic Games, according to the IOC’s requirements and Innsbruck has won," declared IOC President Jacques Rogge after the announcement.
Following the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, Innsbruck will be responsible for staging the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games, with approximately 1,000 athletes, aged 14 to 18.
The competition schedule will be based on the seven sports included in the Vancouver 2010 programme (biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing) with a limited number of disciplines and events.
As a next step, a Coordination Commission will be designated by the IOC President to accompany Innsbruck throughout the three years of preparation. "We are fully aware that this is a very short period, but we are extremely confident that Innsbruck can match the expectations of both the IOC and the athletes, including an attractive Culture and Education Programme, which is an integral part of the Youth Olympic Games experience," underlined Jacques Rogge.
The Youth Olympic Games are the flagship of the IOC’s determination to reach out to young people. These Games will not only be about competition, they will also be the platform through which youngsters will learn about the Olympic values and the benefits of sport, and share their experiences with other communities around the globe. "We are looking forward to joining in the celebration in Innsbruck in 2012," Jacques Rogge added.