Following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) announcement that Innsbruck, Austria is one of two finalists for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, (the other being Kuopio, Finland), Leo Wallner, IOC member in Austria and President of the Austrian Olympic Committee said, “we are honoured to have the opportunity to compete with Kuopio for the right to bring the IOC’s vision for the Winter Olympic Games to life”.
He added that “as one of Europe’s leading winter sport destinations – and one of the world capitals of winter youth sport culture – Innsbruck enjoys a significant advantage with all but one of the venues needed for the Games in place, including the bob and luge track”.
According to the IOC’s Evaluation Commission “the use of existing infrastructure and tested organizational capabilities, together with strong government support, should allow Innsbruck to transition into an organizing committee without delay and immediately begin working towards the organization of the Youth Olympic Games”.
The commission’s report described Innsbruck as the candidate presenting “the least risk to the IOC”.
An Innsbruck 2012 press release said that having invested more than 150 million euro in venues and transport infrastructure in the last eight years, Innsbruck features state-of-the-art facilities for nearly every event, including a fully renovated Congress Center to serve as the core venue for the youth culture and education program.
Innsbruck 2012 bid President and Deputy Mayor Christoph Platzgummer said, “the culture and education program we put forth, which combines a sport and media experience for all young participants, has the potential of reaching youth communities around the world through the Internet and engaging them in the experience. I think that is just what the IOC is looking for”.
The press release said Innsbruck’s bid won points for its government backing. Federal, state and local authorities all delivered on the various formal guarantees required by the IOC.