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  • 10th European Youth Olympic Festival Opens in Finland


    Opening ceremonies for the EYOF feature the same fanfare as an Olympics. (Tampere 2009)
    (ATR) The European Youth Olympic Festival is underway in Tampere, Finland. 3,300 athletes between the ages of 13 to 17 descended on the southern Finnish town for six days of competition that began Monday.

    On hand for Sunday’s opening ceremony were IOC President Jacques Rogge and European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey and EU-Commission Commissioner Jan Figel. Finish president Tarja Halonen is the patron of the EYOF and was on hand for the ceremony.
    EOC president Patrick Hickey opening the European Youth Olympic Festival. (Tampere 2009)

    Venues for the EYOF are spread throughout the city, and the suburb of Hervanta, which will host girl’s basketball and cycling. The athletes village is at the Police College of Finland.

    Nine Olympic sports are on the program; athletics, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, handball, judo, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

    Athletes from all 49 countries in the European Olympic Committees sent athletes to this year’s EYOF.

    Finx, which has the look of a small woodland animal, is the mascot for the Festival.

    The Festival was organized by the Finnish Olympic Committee and the City of Tampere. Pekka Paavola, sports services
    Finx, the mascot of the Festival.
    director for the City of Tampere chaired the organizing committee.

    Organizers said 1500 volunteers were needed to make the event a success.

    The next summer EYOF takes place in Trabzon, Turkey in 2011, with the winter version taking place earlier that year in Liberec, Czech Republic.

    The EYOF began in 1991, the brainchild of Jacques Rogge, who at that time was president of both the Belgian National Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committees.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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