12. - 19. 2. 2011

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The curtain has gone up. The 10th European Youth Olympic Winter Festival 2011 (EYOWF) was ceremoniously opened yesterday. This happened precisely at 20:08 at a Ceremonial Opening in the packed Liberec Tipsport Arena, when the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Milan Štěch, uttered the opening lines. It was all witnessed by representatives of 44 teams of young athletes, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Belgian Jacques Rogge, and the head of the Association of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Patrick Hickey, from Ireland.

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The Opening Ceremony of the European Youth Olympics (EYOWF) 2011 will take place on Sunday 13th February from 19:30 in Tipsport Arena in Liberec. The Ceremony will last about 100 minutes and will contain a rich social, cultural and music programme (more information on p. 3). During the Ceremony, the Olympic Flame, the symbol of the Festival, will be lit. The Organisers brought it from Athens, from Panathinaiko Stadium, the location of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Free entry for the public.

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The first Winter Youth Olympic Festival was held in Aosta, Italy in 1993. However, Ice Hockey was only incorporated into the Festival programme in 1997, when the best young European athletes gathered in Sundsvall, Sweden. Since then it has been played at all the other festivals, and it is expected that this year in Liberec some dramatic matches will also take place among the promising young people.

Olga Charvátová-Křížová won the first medal in Alpine Skiing at the Winter Olympic Games, at that time for the former Czechoslovakia, in 1984. She won bronze in Sarajevo. Today she runs a Sport Academy in Špindlerův Mlýn that educates young skiers and snowboarders.

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At present, Ewa Farna is one of the best and most popular Czech singers. Although hardly anyone knows that just a few years ago she was singing while skiing between gate poles. She has since stopped skiing professionally but remained a loyal fan of many other winter sports.

Martin Petrásek, member of the bronze Czech relay team from 1989 World Championships and a popular TV commentator, takes us behind the scenes of the oldest skiing discipline, with roots in the north of Europe – Norway.


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Did you enjoy the EYOWF 2011 in the Liberec Region?