Peter Mennel, chairman of the Board for the 2015 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), has admitted there are concerns among the National Olympic Committees (NOC) regarding the length of athletes' travel times to and from the venues in Liechtenstein, co-hosts of the event with Austria.
Mennel was speaking to insidethegames after the 36 NOCs present at the seminar of the technical delegates and Chefs de Mission had undertaken a tour of the Festival's nine competition venues, including the newly-constructed Montafon Nordic, which will hold the ski jumping event.
Liechtenstein is due to host Alpine skiing in the village of Malbun and cross country skiing in the town of Steg, more than 60 kilometres from the heart of the Festival here in the Montafon Valley and the two neighbouring towns of Schruns and Tschagguns.
It is the first time in the 24-year history of the EYOFs, both the Winter and Summer editions, that it's being organised by two countries.
The general perception of the NOCs is that the preparation and performance of their young athletes, who are due to compete from January 25 to 30, could be affected by lengthy journeys.
But, despite their worries, Mennel is confident tomorrow's plenary session, the second key feature of the seminar held at the Sporthotel Silvretta Montafon, will clear up the matter.
"They're a little bit sceptical about the transportation but they will get information and I'm sure they will like the way in which we intend to solve this," said Mennel.
"The main reason for the questions over transportation is the fact that we have two countries."
He added: "We could have done everything in Montafon.
"We could have done cross country skiing and we could have done Alpine skiing but we wanted to show that two countries can organise the EYOF together.
"We had to decide which competitions should be in which country.
"Cross country skiing and Alpine skiing were the easiest competitions for Liechtenstein to organise because they're experienced in doing so.
"That was the reason.
"They don't have any ice halls so it's impossible to hold figure skating or ice hockey there.
"We have good ideas as to how we intend to solve the problem as good as possible for the athletes.
"That's the most important point."
Ingo Türtscher, EYOF 2015 head of sports, admitted earlier in the day that long transport times were a potential issue but pointed out that the allocation of hotels for the different sports and NOCs had been coordinated sufficiently with bus lines to minimise times as much as possible.
Speaking about the preparation of the venues, Türtscher said: "Last month, we really expanded the team, getting more and more people involved.
"We changed from strategic planning to the operational and readiness phase.
"We're starting to build constructions and containers are being delivered, so it's really getting real, so to speak.
"It's not on paper any more and we're really happy to show the NOCs what we have done so far and what we expect to deliver in January."
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