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Innsbruck chosen for Winter Youth Games

Dec. 12, 2008 at 7:23 AM

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Innsbruck, Austria, was selected to be the site of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee said Friday.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said an IOC vote of 84-15 gave the Games to Innsbruck over Kuopio, Finland. The Youth Games are scheduled for 2012.

The IOC will next appoint a committee to help Innsbruck officials put the Games together.

"We are fully aware that this is a very short period but we are extremely confident that Innsbruck can match the expectations of both the IOC and the athletes, including an attractive Culture and Education Program, which is an integral part of the Youth Olympic Games experience", Rogge said.

The Youth Games are targeted to athletes 14- to 18 years old. Some 1,000 athletes are expected to compete at Innsbruck in biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing.

The Winter Youth Games will be two years after the inaugural Summer Youth Games, set for 2010 in Singapore.

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