The cauldron was lit by Paralympic skier Martina Vozza.
The flame, an iconic symbol of peace and sporting values of the 16th Winter Sports, Snow and Ice edition of the EYOF2023 FVG, has arrived in Gorizia. On Friday 23 December, the torch was ceremoniously received in the public gardens on Corso Verdi. It is a metaphor for the Olympic values and a symbol of the ability to bring together people from different nations, cultures, languages and traditions in the name of sport. Lighting the cauldron was, as the last torchbearer, the visually impaired Paralympic alpine skier Martina Vozza. The 18-year-old from Monfalcone, who started the World Cup season with a second place (in the Super G) in Austria, already has a World Cup bronze medal in the slalom and an eighth place in the giant slalom at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing in her palmares.
The President of the Organising Committee of the 16th winter edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival 2023, Maurizio Dunnhofer, greeted the numerous representatives of the local ski clubs present, emphasising, once again, the decisive role of volunteers. Dunnhofer, who passed the floor to the Mayor of Gorizia, recalled their joint work at the 2003 Winter Universiade.
The first citizen, Rodolfo Ziberna, dwelt on the importance and value of such a large event as the EYOF2023. These Youth Olympic Games encapsulate a strong message of unity and friendship, also shared and promoted by ‘Go! 2025 Nova Gorica-Gorizia European Capital of Culture. A double opportunity to promote and enhance Friuli Venezia Giulia.
EYOF2023 is a very important event that shows how close our regional administration is to the world of sport. This was the comment of regional councillor Diego Bernardis, who invited everyone to meet in a month’s time on the ski slopes, in the ski halls and lifts to watch the performances of the young champions from 47 European National Olympic Committees.
Marco Braida, representative of CONI FVG, recalled the region’s tradition of hosting major international events such as the European Youth Olympic Festival 2023.
It will be another opportunity to show guests the capacity and organisation of the sports system in Friuli Venezia Giulia and the potential of our sports facilities and ski slopes.
For the Regional Councillor for Cultural Heritage, Sebastiano Calleri, the flame of the EYOF2023FVG that touched Gorizia and this passage had a significant meaning: there is indeed an invisible thread and a great link that connects the message of peace and sporting values conveyed by the European Youth Olympic Festival and the cultural message of Nova Gorica-Gorizia 2025, namely that of solidarity and inclusion.
The ceremony was also attended by Senator Francesca Tubetti, who said she was proud to represent this beautiful region, expressed in the slogan ‘I am Friuli Venezia Giulia’. The region supports this event as does the Italian government through the Sport Department of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, demonstrating the importance of the educational values of sport that can make a decisive contribution to the education and training of young people.
The next events on the torch’s journey ‘Road to EYOF2023’ will take place on 27 December in Sappada and on 30 December in Tarvisio, together with the official mascot Kugy.
The EYOF2023 FVG, the multi-sport event for young people aged 14-18, is expected to attract 2,300 participants, including 1,300 athletes, from 47 European nations representing all National Olympic Committees, while 109 sports competitions are on the programme.