14 Jan 2012

Rogge warns new life needs to be breathed into Olympics

11:11 pm on 14 January 2012

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge warns new life needs to be breathed into the Olympic Games with younger athletes and audiences in mind.

Ahead of the opening of the first ever Winter Youth Olympics, in Austria, Rogge says the Olympic programme needs to be rejuvenated, satisfy the needs of the young and not stay too conservative.

The Youth Games, with athletes from 14 to 18 taking part, will introduce new disciplines to the programme, including halfpipe freestyle skiing and women's ski jumping.

Other events are being expanded to include mixed-gender, mixed-nationality and mixed-discipline competitions.

Some of these will then be held for the first time in the next traditional Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014.