December 6 - Fritz Strobl, the Austrian downhill gold medallist at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, has unveiled the medals for the first Winter Youth Olympic Games, taking place next month in Innsbruck.
The Games begin on January 13, and run until January 22, with 1,059 young athletes from 67 nations competing for a total of 372 medals.
Norbert Darabos, the Austrian Sports Minister, Karl Stoss, President of the Austrian Olympic Committee, Austrian Mint director-general Gerhard Starsich and Innsbruck 2012 chief executive Peter Bayer joined Strobl for the medal unveiling.
Strobl said: "After all these years, Olympic medals are still really special to me – especially when they are gold!"
The medals are 70mm in diameter, weighing 110g, and are all made with solid bronze, with gold and silver plating added to the winners and runners up medals.
"Today's presentation marks the start of the final countdown to the Games," added Darabos.
"Thanks to the Winter Youth Olympic Games, the sporting world will once again look to Innsbruck in January 2012."
Herbert Wähner designed the medals with the Innsbruck 2012 graphics team, and the upper segment shows the Olympic rings and their form reflected in snowflakes, with olive branches representing the ancient Olympic Games to their left.
"We are delighted with this design, which reflects both the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games and the sporting history of the city and region, and on behalf of the Organising Committee we are very excited to see these medals awarded at Innsbruck 2012", said Bayer.
Stoss emphasised Innsbruck's credentials to host the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games. "Innsbruck has already welcomed the Olympic Games twice and has made a name for itself over the past few years with a wide range of major international events, and given this experience the International Olympic Committee has demonstrated full confidence in Innsbruck to deliver the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games."
Starsich also took the opportunity to present an official 2012 commemorative coin minted in copper and nickel, available at venues for the Games as well as online by clicking here.
A total of 2,012 of the coins have been made, and each will cost €20.12.
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