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Winter YOG opens in Lillehammer
Winter YOG opens in Lillehammer


16 Feb 2016
Lillehammer, Norway, February 12, 2016: The Opening Ceremony of Lillehammer 2016 got the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games off to a spectacular start on Friday evening at the Lysg?rdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena, the same venue that hosted the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 1994.

In a nod to Lillehammer’s Olympic past, as well as to the youth and future, the YOG cauldron was lit by HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway. Exactly 22 years ago to the day, the 12-year-old Princess’s father, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, lit the same cauldron in 1994 to kick off Lillehammer’s first Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the athletes taking part in Lillehammer 2016 directly, saying: “These Games will be about your love for sport. They will also be about learning and sharing and about making new friends. This is what the Youth Olympic Games are all about: bringing young athletes together from all around the world to enjoy competition and friendship.”

The vision of the YOG is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and live by the Olympic values. As such, President Bach called on five of the athletes – Rachel Elizabeth Olivier (RSA), Kai Xiang Chew (MAS), Julia Moore (AUS), Britta Sillaots (EST) and Justine Brasseur (CAN) – to describe what the YOG mean to them, inviting them to share their feelings with the world using the hashtag #iLoveYOG. Fans can follow the campaign at www.olympic.org/iloveyog.

The Opening Ceremony, which was directed by 34-year-old Sigrid Str?m Reibo, marks the start of 10 competition days through to February 21 for the 1,100 young athletes from 71 National Olympic Committees taking part in Lillehammer 2016.

Olympic champions were on hand to support the celebrations, with YOG Ambassador and figure skating Olympic champion Kim Yuna serving as an Olympic flag-bearer.

For more information on the YOG, please visit: www.olympic.org/yog

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