Young athletes, world class venues and “selfies with the President” were the order of the day for the IOC President’s first visit to Lillehammer 18 months ahead of the Youth Olympic Games in February 2016.
After a brief update from the organisers on their progress, the IOC President was put to work to help launch the pictograms along with 15 young athletes aiming for the Youth Olympic Games, representing each discipline. In the true spirit of the YOG, the pictograms have been created by 24-year-old Norwegian designer Ida Ellinor Syverinsen, who described her work as “full of energy and youthfulness.”
Impressed with the work of the young designer, the IOC President said: “The pictograms are pretty cool! They are symbolise the dynamism of sport and are appealing to the young athletes.” Surrounded by the athletes, the IOC President called for a “selfie” photo to be taken to share the moment on social media with fans following the Youth Olympic Games.
Double Olympic ice hockey champion and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Angela Ruggiero, along with fellow IOC members Gerhard Heiberg and Yang Yang, then accompanied the IOC President on a venue tour of some of Lillehammer’s world-famous venues from the 1994 Olympic Winter Games that will be reused for the Games in 2016. At the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, the venue for cross country skiing and biathlon, the IOC President was met by the gold medallist from Sochi 2014, Maiken Casperen Falla, who, as well as being a strong supporter of Lillehammer 2016, was also mentoring some of the local skiers aiming for their home Games.
© Norwegian Olympic Committee/Geir Owe Fredheim
A short tour was also conducted of the Youth Olympic Village, a project in which the IOC is investing EUR 13.4m (108m NOK), and is the only venue to be constructed for the Games. This is a key part of the Lillehammer legacy and will become student housing both before and after the YOG.
Lillehammer 2016 is the final Organising Committee on the IOC President’s tour of future host cities. Over 1,000 athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 will gather in Lillehammer in February 2016, offering them a unique place to compete at the highest level while learning new skills, cultures and experiences as part of the “learn and share” programme.