03 Feb 2023

Message from the EOC President – December 2022/January 2023

Categories: EOC

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

In my first message of 2023, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

It has been a busy start to the year for the European Olympic Committees (EOC) with the hosting of the 16th Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Friuli Venezia Giulia between 21-28 January.  I was privileged to attend events, as well as meeting athletes, European Youth Olympic Ambassadors, volunteers, officials and plenty more of the brilliant people involved in the festival.

The EYOFs offer vital experiences to the next generation of athletes and I send my congratulations to all those who competed, and especially the young stars from Ukraine. I wish them and all European young people nothing but a bright future. The crisis in Ukraine remains at the forefront of all our minds and we pray each day that peace imminently returns. I am deeply grateful for the support Europe’s National Olympic Committees (ENOCs) are continuing to provide to the Ukrainian people.

I must also thank the organising committee and the Italian National Olympic Committee, who helped plan an incredible event. The logistics involved in hosting the event in the region, as well as having some venues in neighbouring Austria and Slovenia, meant that planning needed to be perfect – and it was an edition beyond borders

Prior to the Opening Ceremony in Trieste, the EOC held an Executive Committee meeting where we looked back on the achievements of 2022 and ahead to 2023. This Summer we will host the EYOF in Maribor, Slovenia, the Games of the Small States of Europe in Malta and our flagship event the European Games in the Krakow-Małopolska region of Poland in June and early July, so we have many exciting events to look forward to!

Alongside a senior EOC delegation, I visited Krakow in early January to meet with the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, the President and Vice President of the Polish Olympic Committee and local leaders. Great progress is being made as we prepare for the Games and I am certain that Poland will provide a world class 12 days of sport for all of us in Europe and beyond to enjoy.

Finally, while we look forward to the next 11 months, it is vital for the EOC to plan further ahead and the approval of the EOC Strategic Agenda 2030 in December was a positive step in the right direction. It will help shape sport in Europe over the next seven years and is a roadmap for sporting success for the EOC and all the NOCs in the continent.

With EurOlympic regards,

Spyros Capralos

EOC President