The relay for the lighting of the torch will start with the athlete Sara Scattolo – gold medallist at the World Youth Biathlon Championships -Testimonial for Friuli Venezia Giulia of the EYOF2023 FVG, to then pass into the hands of the President of the European Olympic Committees Spyros Capralos and the President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region Massimiliano Fedriga.
On 4 November, at 6.30 p.m. at the Ara Pacis in Rome, the official ceremony will take place to light the flame of the 16th Winter Sports European Youth Olympic Festival, which will be held in Friuli Venezia Giulia from 21 to 28 January.
An iconic symbol of peace, friendship and hope, the flame represents the ability to bring together people from different nations, cultures, languages and traditions in the name of sport. It has always been a metaphor for the Olympic values, for the principles where everyone is called to respect the same rules and to respect each other. The lighting of the torch also represents the beginning of the journey that the torch will make from Rome through Italy and its emblematic cities until it arrives at the Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste on 21 January for the opening ceremony of the EYOF2023 FVG.
The first of the ten stops on the “Road to EYOF2023” will be the Republic of San Marino. The torch will travel aboard the Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia lorry accompanied by the EYOF2023 mascot KUGY, the marmot, and the region’s athletes: Sara Scattolo, gold medallist at the World Youth Championships in Biathlon, Francesco Cecon, Italian overall winner in ski jumping and son of Roberto, the greatest Italian ski jumper of all time and current Italian coach, and Mara Martini, Italian champion in ski alpinism.
An edition that promises to be the edition of records: 2,300 participants, including 1,300 athletes aged 14 to 18, 12 ski centres hosting 14 sporting events for more than 100 competitions in the calendar, 1,300 volunteers, 80 regional accommodation establishments involved in catering. An international multi-sport event that will feature Alpine Skiing, Free Style Skiing (Slopestyle & Big Air) and Ski Cross for the first time.
Not only record-breaking numbers of participants, but also many innovations in the organisation of this unique event, starting with the cross-border character in which 12 regional ski resorts are actively involved, including two competition venues in Austria and Slovenia. Originality through the already existing Memorandum of Understanding with the Milan Cortina 2026 Foundation, the involvement of students from the Universities of Trieste and Udine and the State High Schools as volunteers, Onlus social cooperatives, the University of Udine and Agrifood for the study of high performance menus dedicated to winter sports athletes, with exclusively regional products to characterise a sustainable lunch box, the University of Udine for the development of a project to analyse the environmental and economic impact of the Festival, the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics of the University of Udine for the development of a visual traceability system of the athletes’ performances, the Regional Department of Education and Vocational Training and the Regional Directorate of Schools for the organisation of a conference promoting the Olympic values of sport and inviting students to the planned sports competitions. The creation of an APP, which informs sports delegations, athletes and staff in real time about possible programme changes and entertains athletes in a virtual Olympic village. But that is not all. An active role is also played by FVG Trieste Airport for the organisation of charter flights reserved for the delegations to and from the regional airport, PromoTurismoFVG for the promotion of an area of great tourist attraction, mayors, municipalities and sports federations from all over the region who are preparing to welcome a sporting event of international standing.