2,300 participants from 47 European nations, representing all the National Olympic Committees, including 1,280 athletes aged 14 to 18, enjoyed the beautiful snow-capped landscapes of the 12 mountain locations – split between the Friulian Alps and the Dolomites – hosting the competition, that were grouped into 3 clusters: Tarvisio / Udine, Carnia and Piancavallo / Pordenone.
And Italy didn't shy away from the competition: on the final medal table, France placed itself first followed closely by Italy, with Switzerland ranking third. Although it ranked second, Italy still holds the record for the number of won medals: a total 21, including 6 gold medals, 8 silver ones and 7 bronzes (France won 7 gold medals, and a total 17).
Friuli Venezia Giulia was represented by three young athletes as its sport ambassadors: Sara Scattolo, gold medallist at the World Youth Biathlon Championships, Francesco Cecon, absolute Italian jumping champion and son of Roberto, the greatest Italian jumper ever and current Italian coach, and Mara Martini, Italian ski mountaineering champion. They were FVG's ambassadors of moral values, dedication and commitment to sport.
EYOF2023 FVG was a unique event because of its cross-border character. It involved 12 competition venues spread across the Alpine arc of Friuli Venezia Giulia, two of which, Spittal and Planica, are in neighbouring Austria and Slovenia. The other venues were Claut, Forni Avoltri, Forni di Sopra, Piancavallo, Pontebba, Sappada, Sella Nevea, Tarvisio, Udine and Zoncolan.
The slogan “tutta un’altra neve” (a whole other snow) really sums up the wide sports offer of the Friulian Dolomites, Carnic Alps and Julian Alps: mountains here are characterised not only by modern ski-lifts, ice rinks and equipped centres, slopes and safe tracks, but also by a wide range of activities to be enjoyed in harmony with nature, in slow mode, walking along routes and paths made even more evocative by the snow, in villages nestled in the mountains, during traditional and folkloristic festivals, savouring the products and dishes of ancient culinary traditions.
The ski resorts in Friuli-Venezia Giulia include two Protected Natural Areas: Friulian Dolomites Regional Natural Park and the Julian Pre-Alps Regional Natural Park, home to the majestic peak of Mount Canin.
Sustainability and local food with “Io Sono FVG”
In collaboration with the University of Udine, the organising committee has developed a diet plan for athletes who practise winter sports in the snow. A nutrition education project aimed at promoting proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles, involving Agrifood FVG, led to the development of a lunch box to be distributed to athletes, sports delegates and guests during the festival’s opening and closing ceremonies, with locally-originated products that comply with the “Io Sono FVG” brand to guarantee the controlled origin of the regional food chain. The disposable packaging of the lunch boxes was entrusted to HattivaLab, a non-profit social cooperative based in Udine.
Even EYOF2023's official mascot is 100% made in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The marmot Kugy (here pictured on the right) was designed by Paolo Venuti and manufactured by TRUDI Spa, the Tarcento – based company (Udine) globally renowned for its soft toys. It's been named after mountaineer Julius Kugy who perfectly embodies the spirit of the region: his father was from Carinthia (Austria), his mother was Slovenian-speaking and came from Trieste and he was born in Gorizia, studied in Trieste and was a great lover and connoisseur of the Julian Alps.
Here's the full list of countries that took part to EYOF 2023 FVG:
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Republic of San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Monaco.
EYOF – European Youth Olympic Festival, the multi-sport event promoted by the Association of European Olympic Committees (EOC) takes place every two years, in odd-numbered years, with a summer and a winter edition and it's considered, since its inception in 1990, one of the top sporting events at European level.
EYOF2023's partners are: the European Community, Friuli Venezia Giulia's Regional Government, CONI – Italian National Olympic Committee, the Department of Youth Policy and Public Service, PromoTurismoFVG, IOSONOFVG, the Universities of Trieste and Udine and the European Olympic Committees.
All Photos provided by EYOF 2023's Press Office
Cover Photo: Ski Mountaineering at Forni di Sopra, photo by Tessari