It has been 34 years since the Winter Olympic Games in B&H, in former Yugoslavia, took place, but people’s memories are still lingering on as if so much time has not gone by because it was so impressive that the essential features of the games can still be felt at the place where they were held – in Sarajevo
It is time for EYOF
Large sport events have always built a positive image in people’s minds of cities that happened to organize them, but people would then flock to an event in large numbers because of the special atmosphere and adrenaline, because you never know what might happen, who is going to have the best result and win one of the shiny medals.
Sarajevo, the B&H capital, together with the neighboring city of East Sarajevo, has the opportunity to offer its citizens and guests an unforgettable event, and preparations for it are in full swing. It is EYOF, European Olympic Youth Festival, the first European multi-sport event open for young athletes between the ages of 14 and 18, whose winter and summer edition takes place every other year. Belonging to the European Olympic Committees (EOC), EYOF does not just take place under the Olympic flag, it is also rich with other Olympic traditions such as the burning flame and the Olympic oath.
This sport festival brings together young athletes from 50 European countries, teaches them the values referred to in the Olympic Charter, educates and motivates them to practise sport and lead a healthy lifestyle. The winter edition of the European Olympic Youth Festival in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, promoting the same noble principles, will take place from 9th to 16th February 2019, whereas Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, will host the festival’s summer edition.
“We can say that the European Olympic Youth Festival is an event of national importance. All of us should be involved in this project. A lot of people will come for a visit, and quite a few media outlets will cover the event. We should all use it to bring attention to all the wonderful aspects of our country, its culture, history, tradition, art, culinary prowess, nature, particularly the facilities in the mountains that will be used during this sport event. I believe that our efforts will result in a positive story that the world will see and that our people will remember for a long time. Naturally, young people are the ones who’ll mostly benefit from it all, because EYOF brings together talented young athletes at the age when juniors are becoming seniors, which is extremely important in their future sports career,” said Abdulah Skaka, Mayor of Sarajevo.
European Sport City
There will be seven sports on the program for the 2019 Winter European Olympic Youth Festival, namely: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country, figure skating, ice hockey, short track speed skating, and snowboarding.
Being the host, Sarajevo will have the opportunity to show that it is a European sport city which will promote and develop sport in the region. It will have the opportunity to present its tourist potentials, and reap economic and social benefits such as reinforcing the local identity and the feeling of pride in the community. But, that is not all. EYOF will also give Sarajevo a chance to make a contribution to promoting and developing values such as fair play, respect and friendship by playing a role in building a better world for future generations. This is exactly what all noble missions are about.