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  • Norwegian Sports Awards Gala -- Photodesk


    (ATR) Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon was a headliner at the Norwegian Sports Awards Gala on Jan. 9, an annual event to honor Norway’s elite athletes and performances.

    Lillehammer 2016 CEO Tomas Holmestad and staff pose with the YOG Flame. (Lillehammer 2016)
    The gala also was the perfect opportunity for Lillehammer 2016 organizers to build momentum for next month's Winter Youth Olympic Games, just over a month away.

    Regarding the second edition of the Winter YOG and the return of the Olympic family to the idyllic Norwegian town, Prince Haakon said: “We will celebrate young athletes, leaders and volunteers.”

    Norwegian NOC president Tom Tvedt said: "These Games are for the young people, for peace and to make a better world and we must convey this to our inhabitants in Norway,”

    Lillehammer 2016 CEO Tomas Holmestad held the Olympic flame for the first time, met with 1,600 enthusiastic volunteers and witnessed excitement build for the Winter YOG during the high-energy gala awards.

    “If we keep the same traction for the last 34 days as today, this is going to be amazing,” Holmestad told ATR.

    “I’m so proud and really over the moon about everything that happened today.”

    Holmestad and the Lillehammer community are overjoyed with the blanketing of fresh snow over the past few days that has transformed the Olympic town into a winter wonderland.

    The second edition of the Winter Youth Games in Lillehammer, Feb. 12 to 21, will be comprised of 1,100 young skiers, skaters, sledders, hockey players and curlers. They’ll come from 70 countries and will range between the ages of 15 to18. Athletes will compete in all seven Winter Olympic sports, in addition to a host of new events.

    Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

    Written by Brian Pinelli

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