On Friday 30 December, the Flame, an iconic symbol of peace and sporting values of the 16th Winter Sports, Snow and Ice edition of the EYOF2023 FVG, reached Tarvisio. In Piazza Unità, filled with numerous tourists and guests spending their holidays in the capital of Valcanale, as well as citizens and delegations from the local ski clubs, the fire was lit, with the participation of regional and local institutions.
The President of the EYOF2023, Maurizio Dunnhofer, thanked the guests and especially the many young athletes from the region who were present and reminded them of the important role Tarvisio plays in this event. Here, said Dunnhofer, all Alpine skiing competitions will take place with hundreds of young athletes from 47 countries. On the parterre of the Artico Di Prampero slope on Monte Lussari, we are setting up the Village and the stands, while in the Gabriella Paruzzi Arena we are busy with the final preparations for the course on which the Nordic Combined cross-country competitions will take place.
Mayor Renzo Zanette wanted to thank the EYOF2023 organising committee for including Tarvisio among the three main clusters. After the 2003 Winter Universiade, an international sporting event with great participation returns to our region, emphasised the first citizen, and that makes us particularly proud. I am sure that there will be as enthusiastic and collective participation as there was this evening for the arrival of the Torch.
The mayor of Pontebba, Ivan Buzzi, recalled the importance of being able to host the EYOF2023 not in one location but in several. Thanks to the expanded and cross-border formula desired by the region, we will provide an overall picture of our entire territory, promote its specificities and involve all communities. The PalaVuerich, Pontebba’s ice stadium, which has a new geothermal system that helps save energy, will host the figure skating and short track competitions. A prologue can already be seen on Thursday 5 January at the International Ice Show.
Iacopo Mestroni, head of PromoturismoFVG’s operational management, said that in all regional competition venues, the technical operational staff will work in close synergy with the organisational machine of the Youth Olympic Games. This event is an excellent driving force for tourism in our mountains and for the entire region, and we must be ready for it.
The Vice-President of the Regional Council, Stefano Mazzolini, also pointed out how important it is to be able to host such a big event with the touring formula. This is the first time that the European Youth Olympic Festival has presented itself in this format and, Mazzolini continued, as a region, we are proud to be able to do so. The goal is to continue investing in facilities for the future of our mountain resorts, taking advantage of major sporting events, such as the EYOF2023, to promote the entire Friuli Venezia Giulia region.
The regional councillor for education, Alessia Rosolen, recalled the strong link between sport, culture and young people. EYOF2023 is the perfect synthesis we can work on to spread messages related to the healthy and correct education of our children, who can grow and learn, study and play sports to enrich their personal experiences and increase their social skills. Together with the organising committee and the regional education authority, we have planned a number of initiatives on the occasion of these European Winter Sports Games, aimed at primary and secondary school students from various regional schools. These include classroom seminars to talk about the positive values of sport, the opportunity to attend some of the competitions to cheer and admire the performances of the young athletes, and participation in the torchlight journey. First grade school students from all over the region will have the opportunity to participate in a sports drawing competition entitled ‘Snow and Ice Sports’.
The EYOF2023 FVG, the multi-sport event for young people aged 14 to 18, is expected to attract 2,300 participants, including 1,300 athletes who will take part in the 109 sports competitions on the programme (21-28 January).
The torch, 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, will continue its journey on board the lorry ‘Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia’ accompanied by the mascot KUGY at the beginning of January.