The 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, officially known as the II Winter Youth Olympic Games, are scheduled to take place in and around Lillehammer, Norway, between 12 February and 21 February 2016. This will be the fourth Youth Olympic Games and only the second winter edition. Lillehammer, Norway, was awarded the games on 7 December 2011, and was the only eligible candidate. The games will utilise the venues built for the extremely successful 1994 Winter Olympics. As a result, in addition to Lillehammer, some sports codes will be contested in Hamar, Gjøvik and Øyer.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games are an elite multi-sport international event for the world’s best young athletes between the ages of 15-18 who will compete in 70 medal events. Integrated into the event is a unique programme of cultural and educational activities that gives the young athletes the necessary skills to inspire and empower them in their future careers both on and off the field of play.
Media Facilities to be Extensive
The Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 will offer all the worlds’ accredited media extensive communications facilities and a comfortable working environment at all venues, all in a unique winter setting. The aim for the media operations at Lillehammer, Norway will be to offer a more interactive atmosphere for media representatives and athletes, with the focus on creating an easy and fun reporting environment in the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games. There will be 11 competition venues and six non-competition venues, effectively also creating a true sports betting.
Preparations Going Well
The Chairperson of the IOC Coordination Commission, Angela Ruggiero, after visiting Lillehammer has said that the team there was very proud of the developments and that the event stands out from other sports competitions as a wonderful combination of elite sport, a festive atmosphere and the opportunity for young people to be inspired and learn through sport.
Nicknamed the ‘Sjoggfest’, which means snow festival, and is so called in reference to the mascot, Sjogg. In close collaboration with the International Federations, the Organising Committee has completed its sports initiation programme, which will allow visiting athletes and spectators to try out different sports for themselves under the guidance of expert coaches. This will also allow some new sports to be demonstrated and tried. These include telemarking, ice-climbing, parkour, bandy and icestocksport.
A True Sporting Legacy
To encourage and educate future winter sporting generations, an Olympic Legacy Centre is being created in Lillehammer, securing its place as the home for international winter sports athletes. The Youth Olympic Flame will be lit in Athens on 1 December, and will be followed by a Torch Tour that will carry the torch across Norway with events taking place across all counties of Norway, organised by young people. They will also be celebrating the youngsters who have made a difference through sport in their communities.
Almost 7,000 volunteers have signed up to fill the 3,000 places required during Games time and, with close to 70 per cent being under the age of 30 and almost half being international volunteers, this demonstrates the growing reach and international interest in the Winter Youth Olympics among young people.
This Multi-sports elite event, the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, entire sports entertainment programme will be run by leading experts, and is intended to support athletes in their future careers on and off the field of play, and covers topics such as healthy lifestyles, anti-doping, illegal betting, injury prevention and life after sport.