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Venues of the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics

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Lysgårdsbakken host the ski jumping events

The 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in and around Lillehammer, Norway, between 12 February and 21 February 2016. Nine competition and twelve non-competition venues are to be used; all except the Youth Olympic Village in Lillehammer and a training ice rink being are existing venues. All the competition venues and some of the non-competition venues were built ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics. The games be held in four municipalities: Lillehammer, Hamar, Gjøvik and Øyer.

Lillehammer has five competition venues, Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Kristins Hall, Kanthaugen Freestyle Arena, Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track and the Lysgårdsbakken ski jumping hill. In addition, the Olympic Village, the ceremonies stadium Stampesletta, the media center and various cultural venues, such as Lillehammer Art Museum and Maihaugen, are located in Lillehammer. Two skating halls, Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre and Vikingskipet, are located in Hamar, along with a hotel used as a sub-site Olympic Village. Alpine skiing take place at Hafjell in Øyer and short-track speed skating take place at Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall.


Kristins Hall will host ice hockey and curling

Originally proposed in 1981, Lillehammer's bid for the 1992 Winter Olympics was unsuccessful and lost to Albertville, France.[1] Lillehammer then made a new bid for the 1994 Olympics,[2] which it won on 15 September 1988.[3] Venue construction ran from spring 1990 to December 1993,[4] with all the competition and most of the non-competition venues purpose-built for the games. For the first time in Olympic history, environmental and sustainability issues were considered in venue construction.[5]

Two venues, Kristins Hall and Hafjell, were built before Lillehammer had been awarded the Olympics,[6] although the former was only used for training during the Olympics.[7] Lillehammer's incumbent ski jumping hill, Balbergbakken, was found to be unsuitable and Lysgårdsbakken was built instead.[8] In the bid, the speed skating events were to be held at Stampesletta, an outdoor track and field stadium in Lillehammer.[9] Only after Lillehammer had been awarded the 1994 Winter Olympics was it decided that an indoor venue would have to be built for the games.[10] This started a debate about the location of the various ice rinks and resulted in the neighboring towns of Hamar and Gjøvik also receiving venues.[11]

Lillehammer failed at its bid to host the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, losing to Innsbruck, Austria,[12] but was awarded the 2016 edition as the only bidder.[13] The bid was based on reuse of the heritage and venues from the 1994 Olympics.[12] Beyond the construction of an Olympic Village,[14] the only major upgrade to the venues is the addition of a curling rink in Kristins Hall.[15]

Competition venues[edit]

Vikingskipet will host speed skating events

In Lillehammer, the twin ski jumping hill of Lysgårdsbakken has a spectator capacity of 35,000. The large hill has a hill size of 138 and a K-point of 120, while the normal hill has a hill size of 100 and a K-point of 90.[16] Birkebeineren Ski Stadium will host cross-country skiing, biathlon and Nordic combined.[17] The stadium has a capacity for 31,000 spectators during cross-country skiing and 13,500 during biathlon. Spectators can also watch from along the tracks.[18] Kanthaugen Freestyle Arena has a capacity for 15,000 spectators and will host freestyle skiing and half-pipe snowboarding.[19]

Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track is located at Hunderfossen and is the only bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track in the Nordic countries.[20] Kristins Hall will host ice hockey and curling.[15] Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall is located in a man-made cave and will feature the short-track speed skating events.[21] In Hamar, Vikingskipet will host long track speed skating and Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre will host figure skating.[22] Alpine skiing and slopestyle snowboarding will take place at Hafjell in Øyer.[23]

All the competition venues were built ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics.[24] Kristins Hall was the only venue not used during those games,[25] while Håkons Hall and Kvitfjell were used, but will not be used for the Youth Olympics.[24] The area has hosted world cup or world championship-level competitions in the majority of the events since the 1994 Olympics. The main international access point to the games is Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, located 145 kilometers (90 mi) south of Lillehammer.[26] It is connected to Lillehammer via the Dovre Line and European Road E6.[27]

The following list contains the nine venues scheduled to be used during the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. They are listed by their name, as well as containing the sports held at the venue, the municipality where they are located and the spectator capacity.

List of competition venues
Venue Sport(s) Location Capacity Ref(s)
Birkebeineren Ski Stadium Biathlon, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing) Lillehammer 34,000 [17][28]
Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall Short-track speed skating Gjøvik 6,000 [21]
Kristins Hall Ice hockey, curling Lillehammer 3,197 [15]
Hafjell Alpine skiing, snowboarding (slopestyle) Øyer 30,000 [23][28]
Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre Figure skating Hamar 6,000 [22][29]
Kanthaugen Freestyle Arena Freestyle skiing, snowboarding (half-pipe) Lillehammer 15,000 [19]
Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track Bobsleigh, luge, skeleton Lillehammer 10,000 [20][30]
Lysgårdsbakken Nordic combined (ski jumping), ski jumping , Opening ceremony Lillehammer 35,000 [16][31]
Vikingskipet Speed skating Hamar 10,600 [32][33]

Non-competition venues[edit]

Lillehammer Art Museum is one of the cultural venues

Stampesletta, a multi-sports complex next to Kristins Hall, will host the opening and closing ceremonies. The medal ceremonies will take place in the town plaza. There are five designated cultural venues in Lillehammer: Kulturhuset Banken, Lillehammer Art Museum, Lillehammer University College, Maihaugen and the Nansen Academy.[34] The Main Media Centre will be located at Mesna Upper Secondary School, which is adjacent to Stampesletta.[35]

Athlete and leader accommodation will be provided at two Olympic Villages, one in Lillehammer for the Lillehammer and Øyer-based events, and one in Hamar for the Hamar and Gjøvik-based events.[14] The Olympic Village in Hamar will make use of the 239-room Hotel Scandic Hamar, located between the two venues. It will serve as a village for all skating sports (long-track, short-track and figure), which take place in Hamar and Gjøvik.[36] Travel distance from Hamar to Gjøvik is 50 kilometers (30 mi).[14]

The Youth Olympic Village in Lillehammer will be the only facilities of any size constructed for the Youth Olympics and is located at Stampesletta, 600 meters (2,000 ft) from the town center. This allows the village to be within walking distance from three of the competition venues: Kristins Hall, Lysgårdsbakken and Kanthaugen.[37] The village will consist of the existing Birkebeineren Hotel & Apartments plus new residential buildings. The complex will have 1,786 beds. Dining will take place at Håkons Hall.[14] Construction of the new residential areas are the responsibility of the Student Welfare Organisation in Oppland and Lillehammer Cooperative Housing Association. Travel distance to the event venues ranges from walking distance to 18 kilometers (11 mi).[14]

The following list contains the twelve non-competition venues scheduled to be used during the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. They are listed with their function, location and capacity.

List of non-competition venues
Venue Type Location Capacity Ref
Håkons Hall Dining, Closing ceremony Lillehammer 11,500 [38]
Hotel Scandic Hamar Athlete accommodation Hamar [27]
Ice hockey rink Training Lillehammer [14]
Kulturhuset Banken Culture Lillehammer [39]
Lillehammer University College Culture Lillehammer [40]
Lillehammer Art Museum Culture Lillehammer [41]
Maihaugen Culture Lillehammer 750 [39]
Mesna Upper Secondary School Media Lillehammer [35]
Nansen Academy Culture Lillehammer [42]
Town plaza Medal ceremonies Lillehammer [14]
Youth Olympic Village in Lillehammer Athlete accommodation Lillehammer 1,786 [14]


  1. ^ LOOC (I): 13
  2. ^ Hove-Ødegård, Celius and Brun: 9
  3. ^ Hove-Ødegård, Celius and Brun: 6
  4. ^ LOOC (I): 129
  5. ^ LOOC (I): 124
  6. ^ "Lillehammers OL-søknad, og den støtte Regjeringen har vedtatt" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 21 October 1985.
  7. ^ Svegaarden, Knut Espen; Olsen, Geir (7 January 1992). "Håkons hall valgt blant mange forslag". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). p. 43.
  8. ^ Hansen, Espen (2 April 1985). "Hvem får OL?". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 18.
  9. ^ Anda, Torgeir (15 September 1992). "OL-ideens "fedre" angrer". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). p. 18.
  10. ^ Anda, Torgeir (2 June 1992). "Etterbruken – OLs levende spøkelse". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). p. 18.
  11. ^ Dehlin, Håkon (5 April 1989). "Også OL-status til Hamar og Gjøvik?". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 44.
  12. ^ a b "Lillehammer Submits 2012 Youth Olympics Plan To IOC". GamesBids. 19 June 2008. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  13. ^ Mackay, Duncan (7 December 2011). "Lillehammer awarded 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games". Inside the Games. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h IOC (2011): 6
  15. ^ a b c NIF: 12
  16. ^ a b LOOC (III): 18–22
  17. ^ a b NIF: 10
  18. ^ LOOC (III): 31–36
  19. ^ a b NIF: 8
  20. ^ a b LOOC (III): 37–41
  21. ^ a b NIF: 32
  22. ^ a b NIF: 24
  23. ^ a b NIF: 16
  24. ^ a b LOOC (III): 14
  25. ^ "Lillehammer 1 år igjen". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). 12 February 1993. p. 14.
  26. ^ IOC (2011): 5
  27. ^ a b IOC (2011): 7
  28. ^ a b LOOC (II): 94
  29. ^ LOOC (III): 57–60
  30. ^ NIF: 20
  31. ^ NIF: 4
  32. ^ LOOC (III): 51–56
  33. ^ NIF: 28
  34. ^ NIF: 34–37
  35. ^ a b NIF: 47
  36. ^ NIF: 46
  37. ^ NIF: 41
  38. ^ NIF: 44
  39. ^ a b NIF: 34
  40. ^ NIF: 35
  41. ^ NIF: 36
  42. ^ NIF: 37