Slovakia – Sport: European Youth Olympic Festival

Slovakia - Sport: European Youth Olympic Festival

 The XVI Summer European Youth Olympic Festival is going to be held in Slovakia. The games host was selected at the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Minsk (Belarus) in 2016. Although the city of Košice was originally selected to host the largest European multi-sport event for 14 to 18 year olds, the eastern Slovak city was forced to withdraw in March 2019 due to financial problems. Thus, Banská Bystrica was given the opportunity. Its application to host the EYOF was approved by the EOC on 18th May 2019. But then it became necessary to reschedule the event itself. It was postponed for a year to 2022 so that it dd not clash with the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo (Japan), which was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

     This prestigious youth event returns to Slovakia after more than two decades. Its winter edition, at the time, the European Youth Winter Olympic Days, was hosted by the city of Poprad and the surrounding area back in 1999. So, this is the first time the summer version has been held in Slovakia. The Slovak Republic will be the 15th country to host the European Youth Olympics.

     “The athletics stadium in Štiavničky is going to be at the heart of the EYOF2022 Banská Bystrica. It is scheduled to take place from 24th to 30th July 2022 and more than 3,000 sportspeople will participate along with members of their management teams and officials from 48 European countries. The stadium in Štiavničky will be the venue for half of the sporting disciplines,” said Peter Hamaj, the Executive Director of the Organising Committee of the EYOF 2022 Banská Bystrica. In addition to Banská Bystrica, events will also take place at venues in Zvolen, Detva, Slovenská Ľupča and Badín. Although the city beneath Urpín hill was to host 11 sporting disciplines, the triathlon was dropped from the list. Thus, the participants in the EYOF 2022 will compete in athletics, badminton, basketball, road cycling, judo, handball, swimming, artistic gymnastics, tennis and volleyball. The opening ceremony will be held on 24th July 2022 in the area around the Memorial of the Slovak National Uprising. “Our goal is to organise an international event that will put Slovakia and Banská Bystrica on the sporting map of Europe,” said Ján Nosko, the President of the Organising Committee and Major of Banská Bystrica.

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