Four Cities Meet Deadline For 2012 Youth Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reports that four cities have handed in their candidature files for the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 by the June 19 deadline. The cities are Harbin China, Innsbruck Austria, Kuopio Finland, and Lillehammer Norway.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “we are very pleased to have four candidates for the first Winter YOG ever”.

A panel of experts will analyze their replies and report to the IOC Executive Board that will establish a shortlist of Candidate Cities to be further assessed by an IOC Evaluation Commission.

The election by postal vote of the host city will take place in November 2008 and will be announced in December.

According to the IOC one thousand athletes will compete in seven Olympic sports – skiing, ice-hockey, biathlon, curling, bobsleigh, luge and figure skating.

The age groups will vary between 14 and 18 years.

All the athletes will also participate in an educational and cultural program, highlighting all possible activities linked to the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.