Press Release: Innsbruck reaches first milestone after winning the Youth Olympic Games
On Thursday Innsbruck's Mayor Hilde Zach met IOC President Jacques Rogge und AOC President Leo Wallner and signed the Host City Contract for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
During his inaugural visit Jacques Rogge met the main partners in the Tyrol and then toured the venues with a small IOC delegation. His judgement: Innsbruck is a truly magnificent place to stage the first Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The IOC delegation, consisting of President Rogge, chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Gian-Franco Kasper, Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, Head of Youth Olympic Games Essar Gabriel and President Rogge's Chief-of-Staff Christophe de Kepper, took part in a meetings marathon during their 24-hour stay.
Mr Rogge and Mr Kasper were greatly impressed by the modern sports venues (Olympiaworld Innsbruck, Patscherkofel, Nordpark, Seefeld Arena) and they regard the development of the trade fair halls and the Youth Olympic Village on a former military compound as worthwhile investments.
These are projects that were planned irrespective of the Youth Olympic Games. The IOC do not want any additional infrastructure costs to be incurred as a result of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. During his visit IOC President Rogge once again praised Innsbruck's bid documents.
He was particularly impressed by the city's expertise in staging major sporting events, the enthusiasm for winter sports and the strong support for the project among all stakeholders. He went on: "what matters now is that Innsbruck's excellent ideas for the youth games come to fruition." FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper, who is also chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Innsbruck 2012, praised Austria’s enthusiasm for the project, which was evident right from the start. IOC Member Kasper said "With the Youth Olympic Games, it is important to stress innovation and the 'Culture and Education Programme'.
It would be wrong to pay attention to athletic performance only." In his remarks Leo Wallner thanked the City of Innsbruck, the State of Tyrol and the Federal Government for their support and strong cooperation with the IOC.
For Wallner the Youth Olympic Games represent a great opportunity for Austrian sport. "At this early stage and of course during the event itself we must make Olympic values come to life in a way that is both contemporary and relevant to today's youth," said the AOC President.
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