Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympics gets early boost from IOC Coordination Commission
Friday, 26 October 2012
October 26 - Lillehammer 2016 has been given an early boost in its preparations for the Winter Youth Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission praised plans for the competition.
The Commission, chaired by former United States ice hockey star and four-time Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero, inspected all aspects of the preparations for the Games for the first time since the Norwegian city was awarded the event by the IOC in December 2011.
Lillehammer will be hosting the second edition of the event after Innsbruck successfully staged the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in January this year and Ruggiero predicted that the Games in Norway will be a huge success if the city is able to deliver on its preliminary plans.
"We are very impressed with the work already completed in such a short time," said the 32-year-old from California.
"The Organising Committee is leveraging the foundations of Lillehammer 1994 while gathering knowledge from the hosts of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games – 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."
During the visit, the Commission inspected 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 Winter Games, which were widely regarded as the best Winter Olympics and Paralympics in history.
One of the few venues to be built from scratch for Lillehammer 2016 will be the Athletes' Village, which will house the athletes and be the site of all the Culture and Education Programme activities for the 15 to 18-year-olds that compete at the event.
The Culture and Education Programme has proved one of the core features of both the Summer and Winter Youth Olympics and at Innsbruck 2012, Games ambassador Lindsey Vonn, the American Olympic alpine skiing champion, proved a huge hit in a question and answer session with the young athletes.
Following the Games, the Athletes' Village will be used as student housing for both the Lillehammer University College and the Norwegian College of Elite Sport.
Construction for the facility will start in the summer of 2013.