Maribor, Slovenia Puts Pen to Paper for 2023 EYOF



16 June 2021

The Host City Contract for the 17th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) was signed today in Maribor, Slovenia.

The agreement was inked by European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Spyros Capralos, Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi and their counterparts Mayor of Maribor Aleksander Saša Arsenovič and President of the Slovenian Olympic Committee Bogdan Gabrovec.

The Maribor EYOF is scheduled to take place from 23 to 29 July 2023. It will be the second time for Slovenia to host an EYOF, after a successful winter edition held in Bled in 2003.

"It is with great pleasure that we have signed the Host City Contract with Maribor today," said Capralos. "Slovenia is a great sports nation, as you can see from the number of Olympic medals they have won in both summer and winter sports, and we know that we are in safe hands with Maribor. The EYOF have always been a great showcase for Europe’s best young sporting talent, and we look forward to seeing some terrific elite-level competition in two years’ time."

Mayor of Maribor Aleksander Saša Arsenovič said: "I’m convinced that Maribor will organise the best EYOF ever and that the city will present itself in the best possible way. We will do everything in our power that the athletes will leave the city with great memories and will return in the future as students, tourists or entrepreneurs."

Over 2,000 of the continent’s best athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 from all 50 European National Olympic Committees will compete in an estimated 12 sports:

artistic gymnastics, athletics, 3x3 basketball, cycling (road cycling and mountain bike)

handball, judo, swimming, tennis, volleyball, skateboarding, canoe sprint, football (girls only).

Mountain bike, skateboarding, 3x3 basketball and football (girls) will make their EYOF debut in Maribor in 2023, with the latter being the most popular sport in the city and also acting as a springboard to promote female football in Europe.

Slovenian Olympic President Bogdan Gabrovec said: "I am sure that we will hear the Slovenian national anthem and see the rise of the Slovenian national flag during EYOF Maribor 2023 on many occasions. Maribor is the home of sport, its Mayor and the Director of Sports are former top athletes and that itself already shows that EYOF will be organised as a high level major multisport event."

Maribor will host the summer EYOF after the pandemic-postponed EYOF in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, which are now set to run from 24-30 July 2022.

"These EYOF are a continuation of the great legacy of former EOC President and Olympic Committee of Slovenia President Janez Kocijančič," EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi said of 8th EOC President, who passed away last year. "Sport in Slovenia and all across Europe owes a debt of gratitude to Janez, who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Olympic Movement and especially the next generation of athletes. His memory and spirit live on through Maribor 2023."

The second-largest city in Slovenia, Maribor is located in the northeast of the country and is best known for its wine, cuisine and rich cultural heritage.

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