On 22 January 2012, the first Winter Youth Olympic Games drew to a close in the very heart of the town as the 1,000-plus athletes packed into the Medals Plaza for the colourful Closing Ceremony which celebrated 10 days of world-class sporting action, the friendships forged and the history made.
And whether they returned home with a medal or not, all the athletes, and indeed the volunteers and fans alike, were true champions, while the city of Innsbruck itself, the host of the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games, exceeded expectations once again. The iconic venues, the warm welcome, the simply breathtaking backdrop of the snow-capped Tyrolean mountains, the first Winter Youth Olympic Games could not have wanted for a more YOG-tacular host or YOG-tastic mascot (Yoggl, we will miss you).
Thank you, Innsbruck 2012. Next stop on the YOG train: Nanjing, China, for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games and then Lillehammer, Norway, for the next Winter Youth Olympic Games. We will see you there!