IYOGOC Innsbruck, Austria, Dec 27, 2011: At 7:45 (CET) this morning, the Youth Olympic Torch Relay kicked off in Innsbruck’s Maria-Theresien-Straße. Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer lit the Youth Olympic Torch in the cauldron in front of the Annasäule monument in Innsbruck city centre and then passed it to Vice Provincial Governor Hannes Gschwentner.
Peter Bayer, today’s first Torchbearer and CEO of Innsbruck 2012, carried the Youth Olympic Torch for 150 metres and then passed it on to former alpine skier and Olympic champion Stephan Eberharter: “As a successful Olympic athlete, being part of the Youth Olympic Torch Relay as a Torchbearer was a great experience for me. Today I had the chance to take in the unique Olympic atmosphere from a different perspective.”
Overall World Cup winner in climbing Jakob Schubert was just as impressed: “It was a great pleasure to run the 150 metres and the weather was beautiful. It’s fantastic that so many young athletes from over 60 countries will come to Innsbruck and will have the chance to discover the beauty of Innsbruck, the city where I live.”
A total of 2,012 Torchbearers will carry the Youth Olympic Torch on its 18-day journey across Austria. Today, the Youth Olympic Torch will reach its first End of Day Celebration Site Jerzens in the Pitztal valley. Tomorrow, the Torch will travel through Bregenz, Lustenau, Klaus and Bludenz to St. Anton am Arlberg.
The Torch will cover a stretch of 3,573 kilometres and will stop at 65 Break Sites across Austria, among them the capitals of all of Austria’s nine provinces as well as the most popular Austrian winter sport resorts. Pictures © IYOGOC/GEPA