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07 Jan 2005
IOC News

European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Switzerland

Over 1,200 of Europe’s elite athletes aged 15 to 18 from 48 countries will meet to compete for gold and claim their place on the podiums at the 7th edition of the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOF). As a unique showcase for many of tomorrow’s international sports legends, the EYOF will take place in Monthey, Switzerland, and throughout communities of Les Portes du Soleil ski resort from 23 to 28 January 2005.

Launched by Jacques Rogge
Initially launched in 1990 by current International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, then President of the European Olympic Committee, the festival’s founding purpose is to expose Europe’s elite athletic youth to the Olympic Movement and demands of high-level, international competition. “This kind of festival often gathers the European Olympic athletes of tomorrow while promoting sports to younger generations,” says Rogge. “It also symbolises the union of European nations along with the rich and diverse cultures found on the European continent.”

First Olympic event in Switzerland since 1948
Alternating every two years between winter and summer disciplines, this 7th edition of the EYOF symbolises the first return of an official Olympic event to Switzerland since the Alpine country hosted the 1948 Winter Games in St Moritz. The future stars will compete in the following sports and disciplines: Alpine skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, curling, short track, Nordic skiing, biathlon and snowboarding. The general public will have free access to all events.

Today at the EYOF – tomorrow a star: Paerson, Kostelic, Henin
The EYOF is also the place where many of today’s international stars achieved their first international triumphs. These include former world number one in women’s tennis Belgian Justine Henin, and skiers Anja Pearson (2004 World Cup Champion), Ivica Kostelic and sister Janica (Salt Lake City Olympic medal winner) to name but a few. This will be the largest Swiss sporting event to be organised in 2005 under the auspices of Swiss Olympic with a budget of CHF 6 million.

For information regarding the EYOF, visit
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