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10 Dec 2009
Olympic News , Press Release

IOC Executive Board approves qualification systems for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 in Innsbruck

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today approved the qualification system for each event at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will be held in Innsbruck in 2012. This follows the previous EB approval of the sports competition programme.

The qualification system for each sport and discipline, which was prepared in close collaboration with the International Federations (IF) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), strives to guarantee participation of the best athletes in their age category.

For all disciplines, competitions such as Junior World Championships and Continental Championships, or official junior ranking lists, will allow athletes to attempt to qualify for the YOG.

Over 1,000 athletes will compete in Innsbruck in seven sports, comprising 63 events. The number of sports on the programme is identical to the Vancouver programme. Each event has its own age group* competing, either 15-16, 16-17 or 17-18 years old. The bobsleigh age group will be 18-19 years old, and male participants in the pairs and ice dancing skating events will be 15-18 years old, to comply with the specificities of the sport.

The Youth Olympic Games will see some events differ from those of the Olympic Games. A hockey skills challenge and women’s ski jumping will be included. Mixed–gender and mixed-NOC team events will take place in biathlon, curling, luge (artificial track), skating (figure skating, short track speed skating and speed skating with mass start), and skiing (Alpine skiing and ski jumping). The combination of cross country skiing and biathlon will be organised as a mixed-gender team event. 

Besides the sports competition programme, the YOG will feature an extensive Culture and Education Programme (CEP), which aims to introduce young athletes to Olympism and the Olympic values, and to raise awareness on important issues such as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, the fight against doping and their role as sports ambassadors in their communities.

The Executive Board discussed the general progress of preparations by IYOGOC for the YOG, which are on time and moving ahead steadily.

* The age being the athlete’s age on 31 December in the year of the YOG.


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