Innsbruck, Austria: The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, praised the inaugural edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck as the event reached its halfway mark on Wednesday. “After the success of Singapore, it is heartwarming to witness a city come alive once again with the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games. The local communities have come out in force to enjoy the high-level sports competition on offer, while international spectators have travelled from far and wide to show their support,” he said.
“In the five days of the Games so far we have seen ski halfpipe and women’s ski jump make their debut on an Olympic programme and the introduction of new sport formats, such as the mixed gender parallel team event in Alpine skiing. All were received with great enthusiasm by spectators in the packed stadiums,” Rogge added.
Over 1,000 athletes and more than 500 officials are attending the Games in Innsbruck, which are being staffed by 1,400 volunteers and covered by over 1,000 accredited media representatives from around the world.
The participation of 70 National Olympic Committees is a strong demonstration of the event’s universality, with athletes from 21 countries winning medals thus far.
Of 63 medal events in total at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter YOG, 30 have so far concluded and 117 medals have been won. The medals have been awarded at the evening ceremonies held at the Medal Plaza, which have attracted crowds of over 3,500.