Today athletes, tomorrow ambassadors
“You have been an athlete during this European Youth Olympic Festival. Now you are becoming ambassadors of the Olympic ideals. We ask you to contribute through your sporting activity to a more meaningful society”. It was with this appeal that IOC President Jacques Rogge closed the 9th European Youth Olympic Festival in Belgrade.
2,000 athletes competing in 11 sports
Some 2,000 athletes from 49 nations competed in 11 different sports during 6 days (22 to 27 July). All in all, 97 medal sets were up for grabs. “Some of you have won the medals you have been longing for; others may have been disappointed. Just recall one important rule in sport: it’s not only about winning but much more about being a true, fair and respectful athlete”, Rogge reminded the young athletes.
Clear goals for Youth Olympic Games
Rogge further mentioned the new upcoming Youth Olympic Games: “Some of you may also aspire to participate in the Youth Olympic Games which the IOC has decided to organise as from 2010. Like the European Youth Olympic Festival, these new Games aim to bring together young talented athletes from around the world to participate in high-level competitions. The Youth Olympic Games also want to educate, particularly on the importance of sport for health and social integration. It will also be a platform to inform the athletes worldwide about the dangers linked to sport, such as doping, training to excess and inactivity.“
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