In sports, the mindset is gradually starting to shift from corona pandemic to next winter. If all goes as planned, the Winter Edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival will be held in Finland in February 2021.
Nine (9) sports, both girls and boys are included in the EYOF 2021 program: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, short track, figure skating and nordic combined. Girls’ ice hockey and combined competition is included in the Winter EYOF sports program for the first time in the history of Games. Depending on the sport, athletes born between 2003 and 2006 can take part in the 15th EYOF Winter Games. 48 European countries have confirmed their participation and a total of 1700-1800 athletes are expected to attend the Games.
The main stage of the competition is Vuokatti, where most of the sport events will be organised. The ice hockey tournament will be played in Kajaani and the girls’ and boys’ ski jumping and nordic combined championships will be held in Lahti.
The President of Finland will be the patron of the event
Vuokatti is already familiar with the EYOF – the same multi-sport event had Vuokatti’s beautiful scenery as its backdrop also in 2001. The upcoming sports competition is the fourth multi-sport Games hosted in Finland under the Olympic flag. The event also got a high-ranking benefactor when the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö agreed to be the patron of the event.
Finnish Broadcasting Company will be the media partner of the Games
The media partner of the EYOF competitions is the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, whose channels show the final competition of the daily changing sport.
- Broadcasting of the Youth Olympic Festivals is a significant productional investment for Yle Sport. We believe that this unique event promotes Finnish sports culture and provides young athletes with a very welcome opportunity to compete and perform for a wider audience, says Joose Palonen, Head of Yle Sports.
- During the week, there are competitions in many sports. Our production also presents the event extensively, as we show the finals of different sports in special broadcasts every day. In accordance with the YLE’s line, we broadcast both girls ‘and boys’ competitions daily, says Jouko Jarva, the Executive Producer of Yle Sports.
Sport venues will be ready and in top shape on time
Marita Kaipainen, Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of the EYOF, says that the upcoming event is eagerly awaited in Kainuu. Arrangements are on schedule despite the exceptional spring.
– The locals are already starting to talk about the EYOF. The previous event in 2001 is well remembered and people are excited about 2021, Kaipainen says.
– The arrangements are progressing well on schedule and everything will be ready on time. The new construction project for the event is Vuokatti Arena, which is also moving ahead as expected despite the special situation with the Corona virus this spring, she continues.
Organizing successful multi-sport games also requires many pairs of helping hands. There will be a lot of volunteers at the event and Kaipainen wants to pay special attention to one group.
– We have a theme of “from young people to young people” at the EYOF 2021. There are a lot of students from different schools involved and by organizing this event together, they are sure to have an exciting and memorable experience.
The European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) is a competition event for young European athletes created by the European Olympic Committees and organized under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee. The Finnish EYOF competitions will be held from 6 to 13 of February in 2021.