Following the first visit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission to Lillehammer to inspect preparations for the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, the commission said it was impressed with the early progress since the city won the bid in December, 2011.
Lillehammer’s organizing committee reported on the extensive work already underway, and its strategic blueprint outlining the vision and organizational plans to deliver the Games in 2016.
A core team has already been recruited and an advisory group set up that includes members of the National Olympic Committee, national and municipal governments, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, and a team of young representatives.
The Coordination Commission visited all the venues that will host the seven sports on the program. Most of the venues to be used in 2016 were built for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. One of the few venues to be built from scratch for the 2016 Youth Games will be the Youth Olympic Village, which will house the athletes and be the site of all the Culture and Education Programme activities. Once the Games are over the village will be used as student housing for both the Lillehammer University College and the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, with construction beginning in the summer of 2013.
Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero, who is an IOC member and USA ice hockey Olympic champion said, “We are very impressed with the work already completed in such a short time. LYOGOC (Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee) is leveraging the foundations of Lillehammer 1994 while gathering knowledge from the hosts of the first Winter YOG, Innsbruck 2012. We have full belief in Lillehammer to not only deliver a successful Games, but also leave a legacy for youth sport development long after the Games have concluded”.