European Youth Olympics Festival

About

The EOC and the European Youth Olympic Festival

Held under the patronage of the IOC, and the pride of the European Olympic Committees with 25 years of tradition, the EYOF is the first top European multi-sport event aimed at young athletes aged 14 to 18. There is a winter and a summer edition, which take place in two-year cycles, in odd-numbered years. The EYOF belongs to the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

The event takes place under the Olympic flag, and is rich with Olympic traditions: from the burning flame to athletes’ and officials’ oaths. It is at the EYOF that many of Europe’s inspiring sports stars of tomorrow take their first steps on the international stage. And while some may enjoy EYOF as a stepping-stone to Olympic greatness, all who participate take home friendships and experiences to last a lifetime.

Approximately 3,600 young people and their officials take part in the summer festivals, while there are around 1,600 participants at the winter editions.

What else is the European Youth Olympic Festival?

The EYOF symbolically unites the youth of Europe in one Athletes' Village. It is a gateway to the Olympic Games, with many medallists having gone on to win medals at an Olympic Games, and gives top young athletes a first taste of what an Olympic event is like, at the same time encouraging more youngsters to practise sport and lead a healthy lifestyle.

The EYOF:

  • Is the biggest multi-sport event for the youth of Europe
  • Teaches the values and ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter
  • Educates and motivates youth to do sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Is a meeting point for young athletes from 50 European countries

History

IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, then President of the European Olympic Committees, is the father of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), originally called European Youth Olympic Days (EYOD), when it was first launched in Rogge’s home country of Belgium in 1991 for summer sports and in Italy in 1993 for winter sports.

To date, 25 editions, 13 summer and 12 winter, have been held in 22 countries.

"This Festival provides young European athletes with great motivation, as it gives sense to their careers from the very beginning."

Jacques Rogge.