JUST FINISHED EUROPEAN YOUTH OLYMPIC FESTIVAL HELD IN BELGRADE, WAS GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR PRESIDENT OF THE IOC, JACQUES ROGGE TO PROMOTE, ONCE MORE, YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
Ambassadors of Olympism
Last, nineth European Youth Olympic Festival, closed on last Friday, after five days pf competitions held in Belgrade, was an opportunity for Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee to promote, once more, Youth Olympic Games.
This idea got “green light” by the IOC on the recent Session, 119. in a row, of the General Assembly held in Guatemala City.
President of the IOC is originally ideological founder of the EYOF, while being on the position of the President of the European Olympic Committee. It is obvious that for the willful and persisting doctor – orthopedist from Belgium, things go smoothly.
EYOF has its summer and winter editions since 1991., and members of the IOC, 115 of them, in Guatemala have accepted the initiative for Youth Olympic Games, starting from the year 2010.
European Youth Olympic Festival is competition of athletes aged 14 to 17. On all other continents, there are continental sports events in Olympic sports, some kind of Olympic Games for each continent. Withal, most of those continental tournaments are, at the same time, qualifications for the Olympic Games. But, speaking about Europe, it was thought that such tournaments for seniors would be thoughest competition to the Olympic Games, by its popularity, and wasted enegry and financial means.
That's why this festival was initiated, kind of junior categories competition, with less participants and less Olympic sports.
However, it didn't diminish its later affirmation.
Many of the EYOF participants participated on the Olympic Games, and lots of them have become Olympic Champions.
Still, there is a question whether the conception of the Youth Olympic Games will endanger the conception of the EYOF.
As we have already said, Rogge was in Belgrade, and he addressed participants with following words:
“You were athletes on the European Youth Olympic Festival. Now you've become Ambassadors of Olympic ideals. We ask you to give your contribution through your sports in creatin of meaningful and significant society.”
In Belgrade, during six days of competitions in 11 sports, participated around 3.000 young people from 48 European countries (Monaco didn't have its representative), was delivered 97 medals.
“Some of you have won medals they've been dreaming about. The others may be disappointed. But, remeber only one thing – in sport, winning isn't really the most important thing. What is more important, is to be real, true, fair and respected athlete,” said Rogge.
Than, he came bac on certain organisation of the Youth Olympic Games: “Some of you can trully aspire towards the Games. As well as the European Youth Festival, aim of the Youth Olympic Games is to gather young talented athletes from all over the world, in one competition on the highest level. Intention of the EYOF is to educate, especially about importance of sports for health and social integration. It is a basis for athletes throughout the world, to notice the dangers for sports, such as doping, extreme training, or total inactivity ”, concluded Rogge.
As it was forseen now, number of athletes on the Youth Olympic Games will be the same as the number of athletes participating in the EYOF, Venue of the first Youth Olympic Games will be known sometime in the future. Without a doubt, fight about the host city of the Games will be the same as the existing one concerning the “real” Olympic Games.