Lighting the brazier was biathlete Mattia Piller Hoffer.
Sappada warmly welcomed the arrival of the flame, an iconic symbol of peace and sporting values of the 16th Winter Sports, Snow and Ice edition of the EYOF2023 FVG. On Tuesday 27 December, the impressive ceremony of lighting the fire with the last torchbearer Mattia Piller Hoffer took place in the tourist-filled Piazza Palù. The silver medallist in the 7.5 km sprint biathlon at the EYOF Vuokatti 2022 Games in Finland came accompanied by the young athletes of the Sappada Ski Club and the ASD Camosci and together with the Olympic champions Pietro Piller Cottrer and Silvio Fauner.
For Mayor Manuele Piller Hoffer, the European Youth Olympic Games are the icing on the cake of a calendar full of events. We started the winter season very well with many tourists and holidaymakers. In less than a month, we will welcome hundreds of athletes who will take part in cross-country competitions on our trails and facilities, which have been completed and modernised thanks to the support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region.
The President of the EYOF2023, Maurizio Dunnhofer, expressed his delight that so many young members of the glorious local sports clubs also filled the Piazza Palù in Sappada, together with managers, support staff and ordinary winter sports enthusiasts.
For the Sports Councillor of Forni Avoltri, Manuele Ferrari, the EYOF2023 will be an opportunity to improve the synergy between the two venues and better promote the whole area. Cross-country skiing in Sappada and the biathlon in Piani di Luzza, two Nordic disciplines that will also attract a large audience.
Stefano Mazzolini, Vice-President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Council, recalled the significant investments made by the regional administration in all the municipalities concerned, including Sappada. The European Youth Olympic Festival will be an international showcase for our entire region, from the sea to the mountains.We have facilities and equipment of a high standard, and to be able to host an event as large and important as this one confirms that the work we are doing is appreciated, also with a view to the future, for the further development of tourism in the mountain areas of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The journey of the Torch a metaphor for Olympic values and a symbol of that ability to bring together, in the name of sport, people from different nations, cultures, languages and traditions, continues. The next stop will be Tarvisio, on Friday 30 December. The appointment is in Piazza Unità, at 17.30.
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 compete in 14 winter sports in the 109 sports competitions on the calendar (21to 28 January).