Over the past month the Lillehammer 2016 Torch Tour has travelled from Alta in the very north of Norway, lighting up the dark winter days under the Northern Lights, and down to the south of Norway for a party at the Royal Castle in Oslo. Along the way, it has stopped at all 19 of the Norwegian counties to celebrate the Lillehammer 2016 Change-Makers - the amazing group of 19 inspirational young people who have been chosen among 400 applicants for their contribution to their communities through sport.
The journey of the flame is now on its final leg, including a very warm welcome by thousands of spectators earlier this week at Gjøvik - home of the famous Olympic Cavern Hall, which will host the short-track speed skating competition. The penultimate stop of the Torch Tour takes place today in Hamar, which will host the figure skating and speed skating competitions, before lighting up the Olympic cauldron at tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony at the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena – the same venue used for the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994, 22 years later!
More than 1.5 million witnessed the start of the Torch Tour at the National Sports Awards Gala, shown by host broadcasters NRK, and over 30,000 have participated in the Torch Tour events across the country over the past month.
This gallery of stunning photography captures the celebrations and the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games against a backdrop of the beautiful Norwegian winter landscapes.
See the final journey of the Torch Tour and watch the Opening Ceremony live tomorrow on www.youtube.com/olympics starting at 18.55 (GMT+1). In an Olympic first, the IOC is also bringing the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 to life through virtual reality (VR) coverage. With the support of Worldwide TOP Partner Samsung, the Opening Ceremony will be the first ever Olympic Ceremony streamed live in VR and throughout the Games. In order to access the VR content from Lillehammer, viewers will need a Samsung phone and compatible VR gear. Visit olympic.org on your mobile phone for a direct link to the Youth Olympic Games VR experience.
All the action can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.