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European Youth Olympic Festival

The European Youth Olympics Festival is a worldwide phenomenon in the world of sports. Also known as EYOF, the event allows young athletes to compete and have the chance of preparing for the Olympics.

This article will discuss information about the European Youth Olympics Festival. We will talk about its history, activities and much more.

Keep reading if you want to know more about the festival.

A little bit of history

The European Youth Olympics Festival was inaugurated in 1990. In the midst of the 90s, the Association of European Olympic Committees decided to start a festival that would allow young athletes to have their first take at Olympic competitions.

Nowadays, it’s the most significant event that allows European athletes to participate in Olympic traditions for the first time.

What does the EYOF symbolize?

The EYOF is a symbol of the union of young European athletes from different countries. Besides, people also know it as a way to earn a spot in the Olympics.

Although athletes on the EYOF aren’t Olympic medallists when they participate in the festival, many become Olympic winners afterwards.

Besides, the EYOF represents the healthy kind of lifestyle many young people can have and preach to other teens and young adults.

Who can participate in the EYOF?

The summer and winter editions of the EYOF allow young athletes from all over Europe to participate. Thus, any athlete between the age of 14 and 18 can enter the festival if their country’s National Olympic Committee nominates them.

Each National Olympic Committee is a part of the European Olympic Committees. Each year, more than 5,000 young athletes are a part of both of the EYOF’s editions.

While in the summer around 3,600 athletes participate, winter editions usually host around 1,600. However, there are also options if you’re not an athlete.

If you want to participate in the EYOF without being an athlete, you can sign up as a volunteer. For many people, this is a great opportunity, because they learn practical working skills and have the chance of interacting with people from all over Europe.

What does the EYOF teach?

The EYOF teaches young athletes many important values they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives. Since it’s an Olympic event, it represents the Olympic Charter by Pierre Coubertin.

Following the Olympics’ principles, the EYOF wants to show young athletes that being in sports requires fair play, tolerance, and friendship.

Besides, the EYOF wants more young people to understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through practicing sports. Considering that many people have health issues and lack physical activity, the festival wants to encourage more people to start working out.

The festival also teaches young athletes they are a part of Europe. Since there are young people from all over the continent, the EYOF wishes to enhance European integration by relying on its young minds.

It’s the perfect moment of the year to create bonds of friendship, learn how to tolerate others and understand what fair play and competition are.

What happens during the EYOF?

The EYOF is similar to the Olympics. The Olympics flame burns throughout the entire event, athletes earn medals, and the national anthem is played to honour the winners.

The whole event is rich with Olympic traditions and features the Olympic flag, among many other important symbols.

Which sports are on the EYOF?

The EYOF has two editions: winter and summer. The sports on each of them are as follows:

Summer edition:

  1. Judo
  2. Swimming
  3. Tennis
  4. Artistic gymnastics
  5. Volleyball
  6. Wrestling
  7. Athletics
  8. Basketball
  9. Cycling
  10. Canoe sprint
  11. Handball

Winter edition:

  1. Alpine skiing
  2. Biathlon
  3. Cross country
  4. Figure skating
  5. Curling
  6. Ice hockey
  7. Short track
  8. Snowboarding
  9. Nordic combined
  10. Ski jumping

What are some benefits of participating in the EYOF?

Although EYOF athletes want to enter the event to earn medals and possibly compete in the Olympics, there are many other benefits of participating in the festival.

Young athletes who participate in the EYOF will have the opportunity to represent their countries at an international sports festival.

Besides, they’ll get to know people from many different countries and create bonds with them.

Even though the prestige and sense of achievement that comes with winning a medal is something many strive for, former EYOF athletes often talk about the incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences they cherish thanks to the festival.

The takeaway

The European Youth Olympics Festival is an Olympics event that features athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 from Europe.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to exploit young athletes’ sports skills, get to know other people, make friends and learn what competition and fair play mean.

Besides, it’s also an excellent opportunity to volunteer and practice working skills to help in the future. Thus,  the EYOF represents everything the Olympics stand for: fair competition, personal growth and a healthy lifestyle.

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