Youth Olympic Statue unveiled in Sjogg park
The Youth Olympic Statue, which will house the Youth Olympic Flame following the Opening Ceremony, was unveiled in Sjogg Park in Lillehammer.
The architect behind the Olympic Statue, Lars Egge Johansen, is also the man behind the designing of Sjogg Park. He was honoured to be chosen to design the statue which now resides in Søndre Park.
The statue itself is made of steel, and if one were to stand at the top of Søndre park and gaze towards the statue, they will see that the flame and the statue are “matched” with the church spire in the background. The inspiration behind the statue is drawn from the Youth Olympic Games own logo of colourful mountain ranges. One could almost say it is a “torch made of mountains.”
It was a tricky process, Johansen remembers: “It was quite difficult to sculpt the 50 cm high model; I think Odd Eggen faced a real challenge when building the real thing.”
The Chief Executive Officer for LYOGOC Tomas Holmestad, and the mayor of Lillehammer Espen Johansen were present at the unveiling of the statue. Holmestad emphasised that as well as being spectacular, the statue uses less energy than its counterpart up at Lysgårdsbakken Ski Jumping Arena. He goes on to say that both Sjoggfest and the Cultural programme are important aspects of the Games themselves, and that since the majority of these events take place in town, it is only natural that the Youth Olympic Flame is placed in the heart of the city.
“We here at the Youth Olympic Games are incredibly proud of the Statue and believe it is possibly the most important symbol of the Games. Sjogg Park is seen as the heart of the Games by locals and visitors alike and the fact that they can come so close to the Youth Olympic Flame, and have the opportunity to experience the park at their leisure is an important aspect of the Games”, explains mayor Johnsen.
Built in Valdres
The man responsible for the building the statue itself Odd Eggen began work on the 5-meter high structure on the 20th December 2015 and work diligently all through the post-Christmas period to have it completed on time.
Designer Lars Egge Johnsen tells us of his hope that the statue will remain in Søndre Park long after the games have left Lillehammer. “Whether this will be the case remains to be seen, “perhaps (Lillehammer 2016 CEO) Thomas Holmestad wants to have it in his garden”, says Eggen jokingly.