14 February 2020

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. Love for youth sports, that is.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC), the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) met in Trieste today, 14 February 2020, to co-sign the Host Contract for the 2023 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

Friuli Venezia Giulia will host the 16th winter edition of the multi-sport event for elite young athletes aged 14 to 18.

The official agreement was signed by EOC President Janez Kocijančič, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) Giovanni Malagò, President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region Massimiliano Fedriga and President of the EYOF FVG 2023 Organising Committee Maurizio Dünnhofer.

“We are delighted to have signed the Host Contract for the 2023 Winter EYOF with a region of Italy that is steeped in winter sports tradition,” said Kocijančič. “We expect Friuli Venezia Giulia to deliver an excellent edition of the winter EYOF, the first in Italy since the inaugural edition held in Aosta in 1993. It will be a great celebration of our continent’s best young athletes and will showcase all that Italy has to offer just three years ahead of the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.”

The signing follows the official announcement of Friuli Venezia Giulia as the host of the Winter EYOF 2023 at the 47th EOC General Assembly in Marbella, Spain in November 2018.

“[FVG 2023] is perfectly in line with the vision of the Olympic movement: investing in the youth and our future,” said CONI President Giovanni Malagò. “The project of Friuli Venezia Giulia leverages indeed on this Olympic vision.”

“It will be a fruitful investment for the region, in terms of legacy of the facilities, but will also serve as a springboard for the young athletes in view of the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics. My special thanks go to the President of the region, Massimiliano Fedriga, and CONI Regional President Giorgio Brandolin, who strongly believed and worked hard in order to make this dream come true,” Malagò concluded.

President Fedriga said: “For us, this is an outstanding opportunity. It is thanks to events of this extent that sport can foster its values, serving as a tool for social inclusion and collective growth”

“Not only will we be able to introduce the beauty of Friuli Venezia Giulia to Europe, but we will also involve younger generations through sport, making them the driving force for development of the region.”

Competition will take place from 21 to 28 January 2023 in 12 sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, nordic combined, short track, ski jumping, snowboarding, curling, freestyle skiing, and ski mountaineering.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on 21 January in Trieste, while the Closing Ceremony is scheduled for 28 January in Udine.