Did you know that the average, everyday teen can become an Olympic athlete before s/he graduates high school? Well, they can! You’d have to be between the ages of 15 and 18, and also very, very good at sports though. The Youth Olympic Games (or YOG) is an Olympic Games for young people by young people. In 2016, the second edition of the Youth Olympic Winter Games will be in Lillehammer, Norway.
The History of the Youth Olympics
The YOG has been around ever since 2010. The first summer Youth Olympics took place in Singapore, Malayisa in 2010, the same year as the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The first winter Youth Olympics took place in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012, which was the same year that the London 2012 Summer Olympics took place. The second summer edition of the Youth Olympics took place in Nanjing, Eastern China last year, after the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close. On February 2nd, 2015, a clock has been unveiled to countdown the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games officially begins.
Facts about the Lillehammer 2016 YOG
The Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympics will feature 1,000 top athletes that are between the ages 15 and 18 that come from a total of 70 countries. The duration of the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympics will be from February 12th, 2016 to February 21st, 2016. The athletes will compete in a program (which is the same program as the regular Winter Olympic program), that features seven sports (that have some alterations), with the Monobob (it is basically bobsledding, but instead of four people in the bobsled, there is only 1 person), the cross-country cross, and the snowboard cross having recently being added to the program. The official mascot of the Lillehammer YOG is named Sjogg, a mountain lynx whose name means snow in Norwegian. And yes, like always, there will be an opening ceremony, just like the regular Olympics. There will also be Ambassadors for the Games, like American Olympic Alpine Skiing Champion Lindsey Vonn, who was an Ambassador for the Innsbruck 2012 YOG.
So in conclusion…
The teen athletes will be competing in seven winter sports including Monobob, cross country cross, and the snowboard cross. The Youth Olympics have been around ever since summer 2010. And there is now a countdown clock to count down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games officially begins. Also, Lindsey Vonn will be one of the Ambassadors of the YOG. So, Olympic fans, you should probably start rooting soon because there’s only one year to go!
“A Royal Countdown to Lillehammer 2016 – One Year to Go!” A Royal Countdown to Lillehammer 2016 – One Year to Go!International Olympics Commitee. Web. 27 Feb. 2015. <http://www.olympic.org/news/a-royal-countdown-to-lillehammer-2016-one-year-to-go/243440>.
©Ylva Melbye Berget