All Four Applicants Chosen Candidate Cities For 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games

All four cities bidding to host the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games were chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board as Candidate Cities Saturday in Beijing. They are Harbin China, Innsbruck Austria, Kuopio Finland, and Lillehammer Norway.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said of the decision, “we are very pleased to have four excellent short listed candidates for the lst Winter YOG ever”.

The Executive Board chose the four cities on the basis of a study of the cities’ Candidature Files and related documents submitted to the IOC. A panel of experts including representatives of the Olympic Movement and specialists conducted the study and subsequent report.

The projects of the four cities will now be further assessed by an IOC Evaluation Commission to be appointed by the IOC President. The commission will then submit its report to the IOC Executive board in November, and on the basis of the report the IOC Executive Board will recommend which short listed Candidate Cities will be submitted to the IOC members for selection as host city.

There will be a mail-in vote by all IOC members, following which the host city for the 2012 Winter Youth Games will be announced in December 2008.

One thousand athletes are expected to take part in the Youth Games, ages 14 to 18 years, with specific two-year groups to be defined by each sport/discipline. All the athletes will participate in a culture and education program, highlighting activities linked to the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.