Innsbruck Honoured By Selection As First Winter Youth Games Host City

Leo Wallner, President of the Austrian Olympic Committee and Austria’s only International Olympic Committee member, called it “a great day for Austria and a great day for all winter sports fans” on Innsbruck’s selection as the first Winter Youth Games host city.

He said in a press release, “on behalf of all Austrians, I want to thank the IOC for granting our nation the tremendous honour of hosting the First Winter Youth Olympic Games”.

Wallner added, “more importantly, it is a great day for the future generations of young athletes who are dreaming of becoming winter Olympians, as their first destination, Innsbruck will help them fulfill their dreams”.

“While we congratulate Kuopio, Finland on a great campaign, we could not be more pleased with the IOC’s decision”, said Cristoph Platzgummer, Vice Mayor of Innsbruck and President of the bid committee. “This decision, which reflects the IOC’s thorough examination of every facet of our plans, confirms Innsbruck’s reputation as a world-class winter sports destination”.

Singapore, host city of the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010, issued a press release congratulating Innsbruck. Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee said, “Innsbruck’s bid proposal of developing a Media Lab using the different media environments and platforms would help to encourage friendships to be built among youth globally. As an internationally recognized choice winter sports centre, and a two-time host city for the Olympic Winter Games in 1964 and 1976, I am confident that Innsbruck will deliver a successful and memorable Winter Youth Olympic Games come 2012”.

Singapore 2010 said it would be working closely to share knowledge and experience with Innsbruck to develop the respective YOG with the aim of creating sustainable programs that would leave a lasting legacy behind the YOG, and not just to youth in Singapore and Austria, but also to the youth of the world.

In making the Winter Youth Games host city announcement, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “this is a good decision in that it was obviously the best bid. Innsbruck has lots of assets – the capacity of the city, the experience of the people. It’s an icon of winter sports”.

Rogge said, “it’s something nice for Austria. They bid twice for Salzburg and now they are getting Innsbruck. I think this is good”.

He added, “we are fully aware that this is a very short period, but we are extremely confident that Innsbruck can match the expectations of both the IOC and the athletes, including an attractive culture and education program which is an integral part of the Youth Olympic Games experience. We are looking forward to joining in the celebration in Innsbruck in 2012”.