Norway knows how to party, and what better place to celebrate the two-year countdown to the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games than in a little corner of Sochi at “Norway House”. It was a double celebration, as the date falls on the anniversary of the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games!
Mascots and music marked the occasion, after the premiere of the YOG song “Go beyond, create tomorrow”, Lillehammer 2016’s young Chief Executive, Tomas Holmestad, officially launched a Mascot Design Competition on the organisers’ official Facebook page. The evening was topped off by an exclusive performance by the legendary violinist and Eurovision Song Competition winner, Norwegian sensation Alexander Rybek.
Special guests were also in attendance: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, who plays an active role on the Lillehammer 2016 Advisory Board; IOC President Thomas Bach; and Olympic cross country ski legend Bjørn Dæhlie, who has a whopping eight Olympic gold medals!
(c) IOC/Anna Konovalova
Speaking at the event, the IOC President said:
“There is no Olympic future without Olympic youth. The Youth Games aim to bring young people closer to sport, to culture, to education. It is not just about sport; we also want young people to learn and get inspired by the Youth Olympic Games. We want the couch potatoes to get up and get some exercise. We want our youth to be fit, energetic and sporty.”
To really get Lillehammer 2016 officially kick-started, the IOC President and Crown Prince Haakon were presented with the first race vests of the Games. Everyone… on your marks… get set…GO!