By David Gold

Josef Margreiter_Peter_Schrcksnadel_Franz_Klammer_Peter_Mennel_Egon_Zimmermann_Hannes_Gschwentner_14-12-11December 14 - With a month to go until the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, the final countdown to the Games has begun.

Medallists from the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games, held in Innsbruck, were present in Patscherkofel, the location of the alpine skiing events at the Youth Games.

Austrian Ski Federation President Peter Schröcksnadel (pictured second from left) and the secretary general of the Austrian Olympic Committee Peter Mennel (pictured third from right) were joined by the regional marketing board Tirol Werbung and the Innsbruck 2012 organising committee.

Franz Klammer (pictured centre) and Egon Zimmermann (pictured second from right), gold medallists in 1976 and 1964 respectively, as well as Edith Zimmermann, who won silver in the 1964 Games, and bronze medallists Herbert Plank from 1976 and Traudl Hecher-Görgl 1964 were also in attendance.

"We would be honoured to see you all back here again in January for the Winter Youth Olympic Games to cheer on the new generation of winter athletes," commented Schröcksnadel.

Peter Bayer, chief executive of Innsbruck 2012, said: "Preparations have been going according to plan – we can guarantee top conditions for the Games."

Tirol Werbung director Josef Margreiter (pictured first left) added: "These Games are a unique opportunity for the Tyrol region to present itself as a young, trendy destination for sports enthusiasts."

The first Winter Youth Olympic Games run from January 13 to 22, with 1,059 athletes from 60 nations coming to Austria to take part.

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