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Approximately 1,450 athletes with ages of 14 to 18 and officials from 45 countries are expected to take part in the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) to kick off this Sunday, in Brasov. Until February 22 the youngsters will compete in eight winter sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, artistic skating, ice hockey, speed skating, snowboarding and ski jumping. The events will take place in Brasov, Rasnov, Predeal, Fundata and Poiana Brasov.
EYOF is considered the most important international sports competition ever hosted by Romania after the World University Games in 1981. The opening ceremony will take place in Brasov on February 17, at 7.30 PM, and will be broadcast live by TVR, the public television channel announced. The ceremony will include a laser and lights show as well as two recitals given by singer Inna and the Sensor band. Brasov Mayor George Scripcaru, EOC President Patrick Hickey and Romanian President Traian Basescu will give speeches during the opening ceremony.
Overall, 350 gold, silver and bronze medals and 7,000 badges will be offered to the competitors. The competitors will stay in the six-hotel Olympic Village specially prepared within Poiana Brasov.
“The European Youth Olympic Festival is recognition of the merits of Romanian sport. At the same time it’s an opportunity that obliges us to complete a project that started in 2007 and on which hundreds of people are working, approximately 500 of which are volunteers. At the end of 2006, 90 per cent of the people I was talking to were saying that this cannot be organized in Romania, but we have shown it can be. This competition is a test. If we manage to organize it properly we can think about future projects too,” Romanian Olympic Sports Committee President Octavian Morariu stated.