VIENNA – Austrian Olympic champion Fritz Strobl unveiled the medals for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games which will take place in Innsbruck in January 2012.
1,059 young athletes from 67 nations will compete for a total of 372 medals during nine days of competition from 13 to 22 January.
Medals will be given in four ice hockey competitions: the boys’ and girls’ Ice Hockey Tournaments and the boys’ and girls’ Skills Challenge.
Joining the Salt Lake City 2002 downhill skiing gold medallist for the presentation were sports minister Norbert Darabos, president of the Austrian Olympic Committee Karl Stoss, director-general of the Austrian Mint Gerhard Starsich and Innsbruck 2012 CEO Peter Bayer.
“After all these years, Olympic medals are still really special to me – especially when they are gold!” smiled 39-year-old Strobl at the presentation, held at the Austrian Mint in Vienna.
The gold, silver and bronze medals, which will be awarded to the best athletes in each of the 63 Medal Events, are 70mm in diameter and weigh 110g. All of the medals are made of solid bronze, with those awarded to the victors and runners-up plated with gold and silver respectively.
“Today’s presentation marks the start of the final countdown to the Games,” commented sports minister Norbert Darabos. “Thanks to the Winter Youth Olympic Games, the sporting world will once again look to Innsbruck in January 2012. We want to offer the athletes aged 15 to 18 perfect venues and a unique atmosphere.”
President of the Austrian Olympic Committee, Karl Stoss, underlined why the Tyrolean regional capital in the heart of the Alps is the perfect city to host the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games: “Innsbruck has already welcomed the Olympic Games twice and has made a name for itself over the past few years with a wide range of major international events, and given this experience the International Olympic Committee has demonstrated full confidence in Innsbruck to deliver the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.”
The medals have been designed by the Innsbruck 2012 graphics team and coin engraver Herbert Wähner. The upper segment shows the Olympic Rings, whose form is also reflected in the snowflakes lining the lower edge of the medal. Inside one of the flakes is a snow-crystal, while the olive branches traditional to the Ancient Olympic Games are depicted to the left of the snowflakes. “We are delighted with this design, which reflects both the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games and the sporting history of the city and region, and on behalf of the Organising Committee we are very excited to see these medals awarded at Innsbruck 2012”, explains Innsbruck 2012 CEO, Peter Bayer.
Director-general of the Austrian Mint, Gerhard Starsich, used the occasion to present a second highlight – an official Innsbruck 2012 commemorative coin minted in copper and nickel, which will be available at the Innsbruck 2012 venues as well as online at the Austrian Mint’s web shop. With a diameter of 40mm and a weight of 20g, the coin will cost €20.12 and be produced in a strictly limited edition of 2,012.Click here for more information on the Youth Olympic Winter Games.