Exclusive: Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympics could pave way for Norway 2022 Winter Games bid
Monday, 27 August 2012
August 27 - Hosting a successful Winter Youth Olympic Games could help enhance Norway's international reputation and encourage a potential bid from the country for the 2022 Winter Games, said Siri Hatlen, the chair of Lillehammer 2016.
Hatlen's Organising Committee is now stepping up its plans to stage the second Winter Youth Olympics following the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck (pictured top) earlier this year, and has delivered its first full report to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since being awarded the Games during London 2012.
There are high expectations after Lillehammer hosted arguably the greatest Winter Olympics so far in 1994 and Hatlen said her team is keen to hold another world-class event, which could help a potential 2022 bid most likely to come from Oslo, the Norwegian capital.
"Staging a great Winter Olympic Games is something that is very important to everyone in Norway," Hatlen told insidethegames.
"It is something that our Government is fully behind and all Norwegians are supportive of.
"We know there are big expectations from the event in 1994 and that is good because we want to make this another successful event, even though it will be slightly different.
"But we also know there is a chance Norway will bid for the Winter Olympics in 2022 and a strong event from us will help that bid."
Referring to the Winter Youth Olympics in four years' time, she added: "We have a very important task ahead but we are looking forward to staging an event that is organised by young people for young people, and which will inspire young people in Norway and around the world."
Hatlen added that, despite the fact the Lillehammer 2016 board is made up of young people, she is delighted to have Norway's popular and influential IOC member Gerhard Heiberg on the team.
The 73-year-old, chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission, served as President and chief executive of the Lillehammer 1994 Organising Committee.
"While we are predominately a young Board, you need some experience and Gerhard will be very important in helping us stage a successful event in 2016," said Hatlen.
March 2012: Ruggiero to chair Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission
February 2012: Exclusive - Lillehammer 2016 promise to bring own identity to Winter Youth Olympics
January 2012: Businesswoman appointed head of Lillehammer 2016
December 2011: Lillehammer awarded 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games