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EOC President Capralos praises unity of Europe at EYOF Closing Ceremony

The European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Vuokatti 2022 closed with a celebration of Europe’s unity in diversity, as 44 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) gathered in the Finnish city after a week of spectacular sport.

Close to 1,000 young athletes, who are the future of European sport, demonstrated the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect both on and off the field of play throughout the week. At the Closing Ceremony, the outstanding delivery of the event by the Vuokatti 2022 Organising Committee, the Finnish Olympic Committee, and all the volunteers was praised by European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Spyros Capralos.

Addressing the athletes and NOC delegations at the Closing Ceremony, EOC President Spyros Capralos also reflected on the way Europe’s young athletes had showcased the unity of the continent. “At the Opening Ceremony, I finished by saying two things. Firstly, that you athletes, would all be the stars this week. And secondly, that you would all make us feel proud and united as a continent. I stand here now with great emotion, filled with optimism, and proud to be European.

“Your spectacular performances, on and off the field of play, have embodied the Olympic Values. Not all of you leave here with medals. But all of you leave here as champions. Champions of peace. Champions of unity. And champions of a better and brighter tomorrow. Dear athletes, dear friends of sport, thank you all for an amazing week! See you all next year in Italy for the Winter EYOF Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023!”

During the Closing Ceremony there was a parade by the flag bearers of each country, before a speech from the President of the Vuokatti 2022 Organising Committee, Mayor of Sotkamo Mika Kilpeläinen. Following the mayor’s speech, and the address from President Capralos, the EOC flag was handed over to the host of the next Winter EYOF, Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023.

Maurizio Dunhoffer, President of the Organising Committee of the EYOF Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 and Giorgio Brandolin, Vice President of the Organising Committee, received the the flag from Mayor of Sotkamo Mika Kilpeläinen. The flag was then raised by Alessandro Loreggia, the young Italian star who won a gold, silver and bronze in the short track skating events this week.

The EYOF Vuokatti 2022 was a resounding success and the EOC expresses its thanks and congratulations to everyone involved, from the athletes and the NOCs, to the Organising Committee and the volunteers. The EOC looks forward with great anticipation to the next edition in Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2023.

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