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THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS: ONE YEAR TO GO UNTIL THE BAKURIANI 2025 EYOF

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On 9 February 2025, all eyes will be on the picturesque region of Borjomi-Bakuriani, Georgia, as the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) heads to the Baltic country for the first time.

As we mark the ‘One Year to Go’ milestone, we look ahead with excitement to Bakuriani 2025, which promises to be a thrilling celebration of athleticism and camaraderie, where Europe’s best young winter athletes compete against each other in the spirit of Olympism.

What is the Winter EYOF and what is its significance in European sport?

The Winter EYOFs provides a unique platform for Europe’s best young winter athletes, aged 14 to 18, to compete in an international multisport event alongside peers from across the continent. From alpine skiing to snowboarding to figure skating and more, the Games feature a diverse range of disciplines and provide athletes with their first opportunity to compete in a Games of this kind. The EYOFs have been the launchpad for the careers of many international stars, who have gone on to compete and win medals in Olympic Winter Games.

However, the EYOF isn’t only about medals and victories, it is about ensuring the Olympic Values and the spirit of Olympism is passed to the next generation of European athletes. The Winter EYOF not only nurtures emerging talent but also fosters a sense of unity and sportsmanship among the competitors, who leave having learned about other cultures, with new friendships and lasting memories. As these young athletes begin their careers, the EYOF serves as a stepping stone, propelling them towards future success on the international stage.

From Friuli Venezia Giulia (2023) to Gangwon (2024) and beyond

The Winter EYOFs provide a stepping stone to other prestigious events and already in 2024 we have seen that in action. At the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, European athletes who made their international multisport debuts at the 2023 Winter EYOF in Friuli Venezia Giulia were among the medallists. Many of those young stars are now hoping to represent their countries at the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, clearly marking the opportunities to progress from EYOFs to the global Olympic stage.

Simultaneously, a new wave of aspiring athletes are gearing up for the 2025 Winter EYOF in Bakuriani. This emphasises the vital role the EYOFs play in shaping the trajectory of athletes’ careers and shows that they are not just a competition, but a pivotal link connecting the aspirations of young athletes to the grandeur of the Olympic Games.

Kona Ettel GER in action during the Snowboard Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe at the Hoengseong Welli Hilli Park Ski Resort. The Winter Youth Olympic Games, Gangwon, Republic of Korea, Thursday, 1st February 2024. ANOC/Wander Roberto. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC.

Georgia prepares to welcome Europe’s best young athletes again!

Georgia’s ability to host international multisport events was highlighted during their successful hosting of the Summer EYOF in 2025 in its capital Tbilisi. Now they are ready to shine again. Tbilisi 2015 was a resounding success, characterised by outstanding organisation, spirited competition and a vibrant celebration of youth and sports. It showcased Georgia’s warm hospitality, cultural richness and organisational excellence, leaving a lasting impression on athletes, officials and spectators.

Now, as the clock ticks down to the grand opening of Bakuriani 2025, the excitement is once again rising. Organisers are driven to surpass the achievements of 2015 and enhance the overall experience for athletes and spectators. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich traditions, cuisine and hospitality of Georgia and to foster a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures that make up the European sporting community.

Athletes from Germany cheer during the closing ceremony at the Gangneung Olympic Park. The Winter Youth Olympic Games, Gangwon, South Korea, Thursday 01 February 2024. Photo: OIS/Joel Marklund. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

Stay Connected and Join the Excitement!

As we gear up for Bakuriani 2025, make sure you are staying connected through our social media channels and website. Follow us for exclusive behind-the-scenes content, athlete profiles and the latest updates leading up to and during the event. The countdown has officially begun, and there is so much to look forward to. Join us on this thrilling journey as we get Ready to Shine at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival in Bakuriani, Georgia!

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