FIS President attends Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing

20 August 2014 15:20
Nanjing underway, picture shows the Opening Ceremony
Nanjing underway, picture shows the Opening Ceremony -

While the winter sports world is just starting to emerge from its summer slumber, the summer sports are in full swing, as one of the largest events of the year got underway on 16th August.

The 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games is the second-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), an international sports, education and cultural festival for teenagers, being held from 16th to 28th August 2014 in Nanjing  (CHN).

The International Olympic Committee established the Youth Olympic Games in July 2007 and in its short history, the YOG has become the premiere showcase for the younger generation of athletes to get a taste of the Olympic spirit.

In his role as member of the International Olympic Committee, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper is currently in Nanjing and has been impressed by the operations and athletes.

“It is extraordinary how quickly the Youth Olympic Games has grown in such a short period of time,” said Kasper. “The younger generation of athletes is already catching the Olympic spirit and the Organisers have provided a high level of infrastructure for the vast array of events.”

The Youth Olympic Games also serve as a chance for the various International Federations to showcase new versions of their more traditional Olympic events. Golf and Rugby sevens will be contested for the first time, while beach volleyball will replace indoor volleyball and other format changes were made to sports like field hockey, which introduced a seven a side format. New events have also been introduced in some of the sports including a shooting mixed gender event among others.

In 2016, winter sports will take centre stage when the YOG travels to Lillehammer (NOR), where it will follow the successful introduction of the Winter YOG, which was held in Innsbruck (AUT) in 2012.

“After seeing the evolution of the YOG in its second edition on the summer side, I am interested to see the changes and growth when we travel to Norway in 2016. I am sure there will be many new events that capture the imagination of the next generation,” said Kasper.