IOC’s Essar Gabriel and Gilbert Felli with Innsbruck 2012 President Christoph
Platzgummer and IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Gian Franco Kasper (AOC)
Organizers of the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games say meetings with IOC
officials in the Austrian city this week have boosted motivation levels to
deliver a spectacular event.
2012 CEO Martin Schnitzer and President Christoph Platzgummer met with Gian
Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation and chair of the
IOC Coordination Commission overseeing YOG preparations. Olympic Games
Executive Director Gilbert Felli, and the IOC's Head of Youth Olympic Games
Essar Gabriel played leading roles in the briefings.
IOC Youth Olympics executives participating in the orientation seminar March 17
and 18 included Patrick Stalder, Head of Creative Services and Culture &
Education and Antoine Goetschy, Head of Competitions & Operations.
IOC seminar was designed to steer the fledgling organizing committee in the
right direction on all functional aspects of planning for the first Winter YOG as
well as ensuring an understanding of the importance of YOG clients and their
50 Games stakeholders took part in a session Tuesday, including representatives
of the city and state, officials from Austria’s winter sport federations and
leaders from the tourism and transport authorities.
are all impressed by the project and highly motivated and really appreciated
the commitment from the IOC coming to Innsbruck and explaining all in such
detail,” Innsbruck 2012 spokesman Hannes Maschkan tells Around the Rings.
officials spent Wednesday briefing YOG chiefs on topics such as corporate and
resource management, commercial and promotion strategies and advising on the
next steps in preparations.
with Innsbruck's YOG leaders about event formats and the culture and education
program began before this week’s meetings. The timetable for construction of
the Olympic village, one of the biggest projects ahead, is not understood to be
causing any concerns.
of the immediate challenges is recruitment of staff to the organizing
is currently looking for directors to take responsibility for different
functional areas of the Games and is talking to potential candidates.
President Jacques Rogge visited Innsbruck in January to sign the host city
contract and insisted organizers were more than capable of meeting the
challenges ahead in the testing three-year build-up to the Games.
said the city was a strong partner given its existing venues, experience in
organizing international sports events, its enthusiastic winter sports fans and
the support of the local, regional and national authorities. Mayor of Innsbruck
Hilde Zach and Austrian National Olympic Commi President Leo Wallner will play
a key role in preparations.
matters now is that Innsbruck's excellent ideas for the Youth Games come to
fruition,” he said.
With reporting from Mark Bisson.
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Around 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 years will participate in the YOG, which
includes all seven Winter Olympic sports: bobsleigh (bobsleigh, skeleton),
biathlon, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating (short-track, speed skating,
figure skating) and skiing.
The YOG features a limited number of disciplines and events, still to be
decided. The IOC has already confirmed that skiing will include Alpine,
cross-country, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding.