The first visit of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the second Winter Youth Olympic Games wrapped up today in Lillehammer, Norway.
Chaired by IOC member and USA ice hockey Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero, the Commission was impressed with the early progress made by the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee since the city won the bid in December 2011 and the strong government and National Olympic Committee support pledged from the outset.
The shared vision of the three parties aims to engage as many young people as possible at home and abroad in the Games.
It will also act as a catalyst for change in the development of youth sport nationwide before, during and long after the Games conclude.
Currently in the foundation-planning phase, LYOGOC reported on the extensive work already under way and its strategic blueprint outlining the vision and organisational plans to deliver the Games in just over four years’ time.
Relation-building with all stakeholders is high on LYOGOC’s agenda and, with that in mind, a core team has already been recruited and an advisory group set up that includes members of the National Olympic Committee, national and municipal governments, HRH Crown Prince Haakon and a team of young representatives.
The Coordination Commission visited all the venues that will be used to host the seven sports on the Youth Olympic Programme.
The majority of the venues that will be used in 2016 were built for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, thereby extending the legacies of those Games. One of the few venues to be built from scratch for the 2016 YOG will be the Youth Olympic Village, which will house the athletes and be the site of all the Culture and Education Programme activities.
The YOV will be used afterwards as student housing for both the Lillehammer University College and the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, with construction beginning in the summer of 2013.
Commission chair Ruggiero said: “We are very impressed with the work already completed in such a short time. LYOGOC is leveraging the foundations of Lillehammer 1994 while gathering knowledge from the hosts of the first Winter YOG, Innsbruck 2012.
“We have full belief in Lillehammer to not only deliver a successful Games, but also leave a legacy for youth sport development long after the Games have concluded.”