Belarus to bid for hosting 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival

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MINSK, August 2. KAZINFORM - The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus is preparing documents to apply for the hosting of the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2019, as said by Secretary General of the Belarusian NOC Georgy Katulin on 1 August, BelTA reports.

The official took part in an award ceremony of the winners of the 12th European Summer Youth Olympic Festival held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from 13 to 20 July.

Georgy Katulin said that there is a chance that Belarus will host this festival. “We are working quite actively on this now and we are hopeful that the result will be positive. The process to select the next host country will begin on 1 August, today, to end in 2014. The capital of the festival is selected by the European Olympic Committees General Assembly. The Belarusian NOC has sent a letter of intent to host such competition in Minsk. We will be working on details in the future. In order for the festival to take place here we need support and guarantees from the state. When we say guarantees we mean certain financial and organizational commitments. The maximum of three cities will compete for the right to host the festival,” Georgy Katulin noted.

Speaking about the results shown in Utrecht, Georgy Katulin noted that they were positive. The team won seven medals and was among top 20 nations. “However, to be objective, I would say that our potential is about 10 or 12 medals. One should not forget that a couple of sportsmen got fourth spots and missed out on the places on the pedestal. This happened in wrestling and track and field. I am convinced that we should take into account the fact that they are only juniors. For many of them this was the first start on such a high level. The major objective of this competition was to instill Olympic spirit in young sportsmen, to make them yearn for victory so that they could show decent results at more important competitions. We need systematic preparation here. Forcing juniors to achieve high results does not lead to long-time successes on the senior level. That is why medals are not the main thing here. The morale which young sportsmen enjoyed and the invaluable experience they gained are more important,” Georgy Katulin said.

The European Youth Olympic Festival is a complex sports competition which is held in line with the Charter adopted by the European Olympic Committees and the European Federations responsible for particular sports. The youth festivals are held under the patronage of the International Olympics Committee once in two years. For the majority of young sportsmen the festival is the first official start on the international level as part of their national team setup because in many sports the European and world championships are not held for the sportsmen under the age of 18. At the latest festival in Utrecht Belarus won one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

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