This biggest multi-sport event for European youth brings together around 1,600 young athletes between the age of 14 and 18, who come from 46 countries and are set to compete in eight sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, short track speed skating, snowboarding, and curling.
The festival will ceremonially kick off with an opening ceremony at the stadium ‘Asim Ferhatovic Hase’ in Kosevo, Sarajevo, on February 10. The entrance to the ceremony is free of charge. The attendees will be able to relive or experience for the first time all of the traditions of the Olympic events in this country, including the burning flame, the athletes’ and the officials’ oaths, and the appearance of EYOF official mascot - a snowball-shaped mascot named Groodvy.
Speaking about the opening ceremony, EYOF Ceremony Sector Manager Sasa Klepic announced that the Olympic flame would be brought from Rome, and he underlined that the moment of lighting the Olympic flame would be an extremely interesting moment to see. Klepic specified that the organizers expected more than 20,000 people to be at the stadium, and confirmed that there would be a live stream from the opening ceremony for anyone unable to attend in person.
EYOF Ambassador Nihad Kresevljakovic referred to EYOF as “the most beautiful story in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the post-war period”. Kresevljakovic said that, in his opinion, it would be amazing to see new generations witnessing the Olympic story instead of just hearing about the memories from 1984.
Everyone interested to come and experience the Olympic atmosphere can easily access the festival program using a mobile application. The application provides information about the events at all venues, schedule of competitions and live results. The application might be particularly useful for those visiting the EYOF host cities as it provides information related to accommodation and gastronomy offers, along with useful service and tourist information.
The Diamond Sponsor of this year’s EYOF is Coca-Cola, which has hence launched a limited edition of its bottle, specifically designed for the event and available for purchase in stores across Bosnia and Herzegovina. At that respect, Coca-Cola and EYOF have prepared online competitions and promotions with a variety of prizes, which will be organized on their official Facebook and Instagram pages for the duration of the entire festival.
The European Youth Olympic Festival, as the top European multi-sport event for youth, includes a winter and a summer edition taking place in two-year cycles, in odd-numbered years. EYOF belongs to the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and takes place under the Olympic flag. It is a gateway to the Olympic Games, with many previous medalists having proceeded to win the medals at the Olympic Games, while it also aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among youth.