By Nick Butler

Oslo 2022 claim that youth support can prove the making of their under-fire bid for the Olympics and Paralympics ©Oslo 2022Norwegian officials have hailed the excitement towards their bid from the "2022-generation" following recent polls suggesting half of the Norwegian population aged between 16 and 24 want Oslo to host the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Although this percentage does not appear particularly high, it comes at a time when, across all age groups, a majority of the total population has consistently opposed Oslo's attempt to host what would be the first Games in the Norwegian capital since1952.

Youngsters have therefore been identified as a way to galvanise support at a more general level, ahead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting in Lausanne on July 8 and 9, with an unspecified number of candidates to be chosen from the four remaining applicant cities of Almaty, Beijing and Lviv, as well as Oslo. 

"Oslo 2022 is a brand new Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Games, made for and by a new generation," said Oslo 2022 chief executive Eli Grimsby.

"Young people have been positive throughout the application process throughout the application process and also contributed to reverse the negative opinions before the referendum in Oslo last year. 

"Now we are happy the youth again will mobilise its power to create excitement for the Norwegian Olympic application."

Young Norwegians, such as those who met IOC President Thomas Bach during a visit last month, are seen as key ©TwitterYoung Norwegians, such as those who met IOC President Thomas Bach during a visit last month, are seen as key ©Twitter

The major challenge facing the bid, however, remains the fact that no endorsement has yet been provided by the Norwegian Government - and none will be made before the IOC Executive Board meeting next month. 

The Government will send the Norwegian Olympic application for political discussion to the Parliament in August, where it will be subject to a broad political discussion before a decision is made in the Autumn.

But, despite a strong opposition movement, which includes the junior coalition partner the Progress Party, as well as elements of the opposition Labour Party and the ruling Conservatives, Oslo 2022 claim they remain confident support will pick up.

One reason for this, they claim, is the fact more than 3,000 people have now signed up as ambassadors for the Games, with 150 of these individuals gathering in the city this evening to "share inspiration and information about how to best create excitement for the Olympic bid".

"These are young people from across the country who want to spark the Olympic Flame among their parents' and grandparents' generation," said Grimsby.

"They see the possibilities one of the largest events in the world can create for themselves, for the region they are coming from and for Norway as a whole.

"We are very happy to have them on our team.

"I think the young people can once again be a 'gamechanger' that will help us in the bid process towards July 2015 when the IOC will make their decision on the host city."

This final decision is due to be made at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia on July 31 next year, following visits made to each of the Candidate Cities by the IOC Evaluation Commission. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

elated stories
May 2014: Oslo 2022 confident support for Olympic bid set to pick-up after Bach visit
May 2014: Oslo 2022 bid looms in background as Bach begins Norway visit
May 2014: Ruling Conservatives silent on support for Oslo 2022 bid at National Congress
May 2014: Exclusive: Oslo 2022 outline importance of "fighting" to save bid following latest IOC scrutiny
May 2014: Oslo 2022 promised timetable on Government decision not affected by Progress Party vote