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Innsbruck to host first Winter Youth Games in 2012Edit

  • Innsbruck edged out Kuopio in Finland (also known as FIN) Flag of Finland 84-15 in the IOC ballot.

“This is a good decision in that it was obviously the best bid,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said after announcing the winner. “Innsbruck has lots of assets—the capacity of the city, the experience of the people. It’s an icon of winter sports.”

The 2012 Youth Games, a 10-day event, features about 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 competing in seven sports:

Innsbruck offered “minimal risk” with a budget of $22.5 million.

“This is a great day for Austria and a great day for all winter sports fans,” Austrian Olympic Committee president Leo Wallner said in a statement. “More importantly, it is a great day for the future generations of young athletes who are dreaming of becoming winter Olympians.”

The evaluation panel raised concerns about Innsbruck’s ability to build an athletes’ village on time. The city now has a backup plan of renting rooms in local hotels.

The Youth Olympics is a personal project of Rogge, who is seeking to combat youth obesity and encourage young people to participate in sport.

The first Summer Youth Olympics will be held in Singapore in 2010.

Rogge will appoint a coordination commission to work with Innsbruck organizers over the next three years.

“We are very aware that this is a very short period, but we are extremely confident that Innsbruck can match the expectations of both the IOC and the athletes,” Rogge said.

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