IOC President ROGGE hails inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games
INNSBRUCK, Jan 13 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques ROGGE (BEL) has expressed his support for the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games while speaking at a press conference at Congress Innsbruck on Friday.
"I am very confident that we will have an excellent Youth Olympic Games here in Innsbruck," he said.
"We have seen in Singapore [2010 Youth Olympic Games] that allying elite sport with education appeals to young people."
"Singapore's influence was a positive one."
"The concept was embraced by athletes and officials and one of the results was that we put even more emphasis on the Culture and Education Programme."
On the subject of his original vision to have no national anthems or symbols at the Youth Olympic Games, ROGGE was philosophical.
"I have no regrets. My original idea was to have a Games without national anthems and flags. However, my stakeholders had different opinions and who am I to resist 204 NOCs?"
"They had their ideas, I had mine and in the end I had to go with the majority."
With a number of new events making their debut at Innsbruck 2012, ROGGE expressed a wish to continue with such a programme and for the Games to be rejuvenated by new events.
"The Olympic programme needs to adapt to the needs and wishes of the youth and not be too conservative."
He also shared his thoughts on the debut of Women's Ski Jumping at Innsbruck 2012.
"I'm glad to see that they will start here, and that it will also be on the programme at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games."
"The participation of Women's Ski Jumping is of symbolic significance and I look forward to it," he said.
"There will be a lot of attention for that competition."
ROGGE retires as president of the IOC in 2013 but he declined to speculate on what his legacy will be.
"Legacy is something that's spoken about when you're dead, and I'm not in a hurry," he said.