Launched in 1990, and then called "European Youth Olympic Days", the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) is the only multi-sport event in Europe and is an initiative of the Association of European Olympic Committees (EOC). With the EYOF, Europe has followed the tradition of other continents, such as Asia, which already had their own games.
Who takes part?
Summer and Winter European Youth Olympic Festivals are aimed at young athletes from all over Europe between the ages of 14 and 18. Approximately 2,500 participants go to the summer festivals, while in winter there are approximately 1,300 participants.
The nine Olympic sports that are part of the EYOF are: athletics, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, handball, judo, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and volleyball.
You too can be a part of the EYOF by volunteering at one the Festivals.
“This Festival provides young European athletes with great motivation, as it renders sense to their careers from the very beginning.”
Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee and founder the EYOF
What is it about?
The principals of the EYOF are based on Pierre de Coubertin’s Olympic Charter. The event should contribute to a better and more peaceful world by educating youth, in this case by the means of sports. Within the Olympic ideal, the games help create mutual understanding without any form of discrimination and through friendship, solidarity and fair play.
The EYOF follow the same lines as the Olympic Games: there are both opening and closing ceremonies, the Olympic flame burns during the entire festival, the national anthem is played in honour of the winner, and the flags of all medallists are raised.