The Winter Youth Olympic Games are an elite sporting event for young people from all over the world. An event distinct from other youth sports events, as they also integrate a unique Learn and Share Programme (L&S), based around five main themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles.
The sports programme is based on that of the Olympic Winter Games, with seven sports featured on the winter programme. In addition, the programme also includes exciting new disciplines and formats such as, ice hockey skills challenge, monobob, cross country cross and mixed gender and mixed National Olympic Committee (NOC) events.
Away from the field of play and through a variety of fun and interactive activities, workshops and team-building exercises, the L&S gives the participating athletes the opportunity to learn about the Olympic values, explore other cultures and develop the skills to become true ambassadors of their sport. This in-depth resource of useful information is available to everyone via the Learn and Share Gateway.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games aim to bring together talented young athletes aged from 15 to 18 from around the world (over 70 National Olympic Committees compete in the Winter Youth Olympic Games, and over 200 in the Summer edition).
The Winter Youth Olympic Games feature over 1,100 athletes are held over a 10-day period, while Summer Youth Olympic Games feature over 3,500 athletes and last for 12 days.
There are also non-athlete participants who play an integral part in the Games, namely the Young Reporters, Ambassadors and Athlete Role Models. Visit www.olympic.org/youth-olympic-games for more information.
Just like the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games are held every four years. The first winter edition was held in Innsbruck, Austria, from 13 to 22 January 2012 and the first and second summer editions were held in Singapore from 14 to 26 August 2010 and Nanjing, China from 16 to 28 August 2014.
The host city of the second Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Lillehammer, Norway between 12-21 February 2016, and the third Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018 will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.