Lillehammer To Host 2016 Winter Youth Games

It’s official. Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Olympics, will be hosting the second edition of the Winter Youth Games in 2016. The city was elected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members via postal vote, the deadline being December 5.

The IOC executive board approved the bid Wednesday. Lillehammer was the only candidate.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “we are excited to be going back to Lillehammer, which hosted unforgettable Winter Games in 1994. The city, the government and Norwegian National Olympic Committee have shown a great desire and commitment to hosting these Games and we are confident that Lillehammer will provide a world-class experience for the youth athletes in just over four years’ time”.

More than 1,000 athletes ages 15 to 18 will compete at the Games featuring competitions in the same seven sports that are now on the Olympic Winter Games program.

President Rogge will soon establish a Coordination Commission to assist Lillehammer throughout its preparation period.

Norwegian Minister of Culture Anniken Huitfeldt said “I am very pleased to recognize the IOC’s announcement that Norway and Lillehammer will host the 2nd Winter Youth Games in 2016” adding that “a number of the arenas used in the 1994 Olympic Games will be reused for the Youth Olympic competitions”.

Innsbruck, Austria is hosting the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games January 13 to 22, 2012.