28 July 2023


European Youth Olympic Festival 2023

The first man of the European Olympic Committees, President Spyros CAPRALOS, visited the judo event for the second time during the European Youth Olympic Festival in Maribor. Last year, at the EYOF we had ten sports, here in Slovenia we have eleven, the constant growth of events is visible.

European Olympic Committees President Spyros CAPRALOS © Gabi Juan

Yes, we had some new sports here, because we are trying together with the organizers to see which are the sports that are having big appeal to younger people in the host country. Here we tried mountain bike, basketball 3×3 and skateboarding, so that’s new.

The other day at the judo event we witnessed the President spending time with Olympic Champions, Urška ŽOLNIR JUGOVAR (London 2012) and Tina TRSTENJAK (Rio de Janeiro 2016). This is quite a deal for the development of the sport, to have such big names at the European Youth Olympic Festival.

First of all, it’s great for all of us to see those big names to be present here and for athletes it’s very motivating to see that the big champions are close to them, look at them and admire them. It’s just something great!

Catarina RODRIGUES, Urška ŽOLNIR JUGOVAR, Spyros CAPRALOS, Tina TRSTENJAK, Lovrencij GALUF © Gabi Juan

Sport brings people together in a special way, there is never a shortage of good topics. It is always a great honour to see individuals such Mr Capralos at a judo event. Amongst many events, he joined our judo family last year in Banska Bystrica and at the Games of the Small States in Malta earlier this year.

I have a habit going to all sports, I like judo very much, it’s one of the most popular sports that is existing in the Olympic program and I saw some very good athletes competing here. I don’t want to distinguish because everybody has his own and her own merit.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) announced that the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, will host the XVIII summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in 2025. North Macedonia will become the 25th country to host the EYOF, and the 16th to host its summer edition. Will we see 12 sports at that EYOF?

We still need to speak a lot with the organizers, because our aim is not to build new facilities, to use existing facilities, use money to refurnish them because that is good to leave the legacy. We don’t want any organizer to spend unnecessary money for the facilities that they don’t have and they don’t grant to use afterwards. So we will see, we will sit together and see which sports because we have big number of sports who want to enter European Youth Olympic Festival.

The decision was confirmed during the EYOF in Maribor, where several thousand of the best young European athletes are competing in 11 sports and sports branches these days.

Since it was first held in Brussels (Belgium) in 1991, the EYOF has offered athletes aged 14 to 18 the opportunity to participate in an international multi-sport event, which has seen 54 gold medalists become Olympic Champions in their respective disciplines.


Author: Mario Krvavac