The Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF 2015) plays host to over 900 winter athletes later this month, including 15 of Team GB’s brightest sporting talents.
EYOF 2015, and other similar Youth Olympic events, play a crucial role in the development of young British athletes in providing a multi-sport experience as well as a first taste of life in the Olympic Movement.
Alpine skier Chemmy Alcott, who made her Team GB debut at EYOF 1999, went on to race at four Olympic Winter Games, notching up seven top 20 finishes along the way.
EYOF 2015 is the 12th winter edition of the Festival, which began back in 1991 in Brussels as a summer event before the first winter Festival two years later in Aosta, Italy.
This year’s EYOF, which runs from 25th-30th January 2015 and will welcome 45 competing nations, will be the first time that the event has been hosted by two separate countries, with the majority of the action in the Montafon Valley, Austria.
Eight winter sport disciplines make up the programme for the week, with Team GB competing in four; alpine skiing, cross country skiing, figure skating and snowboarding. Biathlon, ice hockey, Nordic combined and ski jumping complete the week’s action in the Alps.
Vorarlberg, a federal state of Austria, borders three nations; Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein itself and will host six of the eight disciplines, along with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the daily Medal Ceremonies.
To the west of Vorarlberg lies Liechtenstein, the world’s sixth smallest nation, whose entire population around 37,000 would only fill half of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Cross country skiing will feature in the town of Steg, while the individual alpine skiing events will be held in Malbun with the team competition over the border in St. Gallenkirch, Austria.
You can read more on EYOF 2015 through the Festival website here, and look out for out the Team GB squad announcement at 11am.