Archive for December, 2015

It’s showtime: Rio de Janeiro ready for a magical 2016

December 30th, 2015

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Rio 2016

Barra Olympic Park, heart of the Rio 2016 Games, 95 per cent complete

December 29th, 2015

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Rio 2016

What a year… how preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games entered the home straight in 2015

December 28th, 2015

Lillehammer 2016 aims to ‘Go Beyond and Create Tomorrow’

December 23rd, 2015

The fairy tale scenery of Norway’s Oppland region will provide the backdrop for fantastic feats on the snow and ice at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016.

The iconic competition venues that took centre stage at the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994, such as Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Lysgårdsbakken Ski Jumping Arena, Hafjell ski resort, the Viking ship-shaped Hamar Olympic Hall and Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall will all be put into service again, providing the stage for the usual array of winter sports as well as new, less familiar disciplines. Featured among the latter are the monobob (a single-seater bobsleigh event), the Nordic mixed team event (a combination of cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined) and the team ski-snowboard cross, a mixed-team event for both skiers and snowboarders.

On the ice hockey rink, the individual skills challenge will make a welcome return, enabling players to showcase their shooting accuracy, puck control and skating agility.

The winter and summer editions of the Youth Olympic Games serve as a veritable testing ground for new events, some of which have in the past been promoted to the Olympic Games.

These champions of the future will not solely be on the hunt for medals at the Games, as they will also have the chance to take part in numerous workshops dealing with topics central to their athletic and future careers, receive training in the very latest multimedia technology, and let their hair down at the “Sjoggfest” – a series of festivals, concerts and cultural events.

Birth of the YOG

Future elite athletes have always performed in national and international competitions from a young age, but until very recently they did not have the opportunity to compete together in a major global multi-sport event, in a warm and friendly environment where learning and skills-based activities are also prioritised.

At the instigation of Jacques Rogge, IOC President from 2001 to 2013, the Youth Olympic Games, reserved for competitors between 14 and 18, were created during the international body’s 119th session in Guatemala City in July 2007. “This is a historic moment for the Olympic Movement. We owe that to the youth of the world,” said Rogge at the time.

The first two editions of the Summer Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing (CHN) in 2014. The inaugural Winter YOG took place in Innsbruck (AUT) in February 2012. The goals of the YOG, which provide a taste of the Olympic Games experience, include educating young athletes on the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect, and encouraging them to take pleasure in their sports, look up to role models and respect fair play. This is all part of a programme called “Learn & Share”. 

Attendees will be provided with crucial information relating to their elite sporting career and beyond, with the help of inspiring Young Ambassadors, whose role is to pass on their invaluable experience and advice. Key facts about nutrition, the dangers of doping and professional development are also placed at athletes’ disposal.

Completing the circle

YOG participants become Youth Olympians for life and ambassadors for Olympic values once they return to their respective homelands. The slogan for Lillehammer 2016, “Go Beyond, Create Tomorrow”, is an invitation for them to ready themselves for greater challenges.

In fact, a number of athletes who shone at Innsbruck 2012 went on to enjoy success two years later in Sochi, such as figure skater Adelina Sotnikova (RUS), who won a silver medal at the YOG and was crowned Olympic champion in 2014.

In February 2016, a whole host of eager competitors will be hoping to emerge successful from their own events in Lillehammer, before dreaming of success at PyeongChang 2018. 

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Singapore 2010 YOG, Youth Games

The dream lives on… Kobe Bryant aiming to go out on a high at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

December 22nd, 2015

Get to know the Athlete Role Models: Wolfgang Linger

December 21st, 2015
How/why did you start your sport? 

When I was young I did many different sports. I just liked to do sports, it didn´t matter which sport. One day I tried to do luge, but just totally by chance and I had a lot of fun. So at this age that was probably the reason that I really started doing luge. It´s great to have to physical skills and the speed, and on the other side with the sleds it´s a high-tech sport. That’s the main points for me.  

What achievements are you most proud of in your sporting career? 

For sure the two Olympic gold medals were very special. But I am very proud of winning the overall World Cup in 2012, because there was big pressure on us.  

What achievements are you most proud of outside your sporting career? 

When I was 19, in sport my big goal was qualify for the Olympics in Salt Lake City. In the same year I graduated at school. That was a tough year because sport was very intensive and took lots of time, and then school also took much time and needed hard discipline. But it worked, I was successful in both of them. 

Favourite moment at the Olympics? A special memory of one of your participations?

In 2006, when we were on the podium and they were playing our national anthem. We were not in Turin as favourites, so everything was really just like a dream. And the race itself went so fast, even after the race you are still so focused. So the day after the race we really had time to enjoy our special moment when we got the medals in Turin. 

What made you want to participate in the Youth Olympic Games? 

Kids are amazing. It is amazing to watch how good they are even at this age. But I also think I can help them. They have good coaches for sure, so they are good in their sport, but I can give them some advice, for example how to deal with stress, how they can focus on the Olympic race, how they can optimise their development. 

What do you like most about the Youth Olympic Games concept? 

Young people need big events and special events to be well prepared when they come to their senior national team. For them to win at the Youth Olympic Games is for sure an amazing victory. But I don´t just see the result, I also see what the kids are learning at the Youth Olympics for their future. When they come for the first time to the “real” Olympics,  in their mind they will be better prepared. 

What are you looking forward to the most in Lillehammer 2016? 

I think the Opening Ceremony is going to be a great event already. And there the kids will realise that these events the following days are not normal, they are something special. And then I can “go with” the athletes to their race and be there for questions and give them some small advice to be able to give the best in their Olympic race. 

What’s next for you in your career? 

I have started my second career. After I stopped sliding in 2014, I started working with the Austrian luge federation and with Austrian TV. And I started studying economics and sport.  

What are your hobbies? 

Still every kind of sport. Biking, skiing, hiking, reading a book. And for sure playing with my kids, which I do most of my free time 😉 

Anything else you want to add? 

It makes me proud to be part of this project. Kids are always the future. And to work with them is great because they can still make big steps forward with their skills. And when I think back to when I was a kid, it was always a great moment when I met a successful sportsman. So I hope I can bring some of them some special moments and help them a little bit in their development.


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Singapore 2010 YOG, Youth Games

Brazil and Argentina share honours as rugby rocks Ipanema beach

December 20th, 2015

Is it a spaceship? No it’s the Museum of Tomorrow, new symbol of the 2016 Olympic host city

December 18th, 2015

Rugby will boom in South America thanks to Rio 2016 Games, says Agustín Pichot

December 17th, 2015

Spain and New Zealand complete Rio 2016 hockey line-up after South Africans decline slots

December 17th, 2015