In its meeting in Beijing last week, the IOC Executive Board unanimously welcomed the idea of establishing Youth Olympic Games. The idea has been conceived by IOC President Rogge to address the decline in the relevance of sport amongst the younger generation. The concept will be presented for final approval by the IOC Session in Guatemala City in July in order for a debut of the summer edition to take place in 2010 with the first winter edition being planned for 2012. Like the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games would alternate every four years and feature a similar Olympic environment with an Olympic Village, protocols and spirit. However, they are intended to complement the Olympic Games rather than mimicking them.
â€œFIS supports the principal idea of Winter Youth Games,â€ noted FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. â€œFor us it will be important to set the schedule so that we do not conflict with the FIS World Championships. We would also welcome flexible, discipline-specific age limits set to reflect the varying needs of our sports, such as 14-16 for all FIS disciplines that are not endurance sports. Similarly, the competition program would need to be carefully determined per discipline and be limited to a few events only. To make the organization financially feasible, the team size should also be smaller than in the Olympic Winter Games,â€ he added.