Innsbruck 2012 marked the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games. The host city, the first to welcome the Olympic Games on three separate occasions (Winter Olympic Games in 1964, 1976 and Youth Olympic Games in 2012), was able to give new meaning to its Olympic legacy with the addition of the Youth Olympic Games. The main goal of Innsbruck 2012 was to encourage young people from across the globe to develop their passion for sport and, at the same time, learn about the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship.
The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games featured high-level sporting performances from 1,022 athletes, aged 15 to 18, who competed in 63 medal events across seven sports and 15 disciplines.
As well as the Olympic disciplines, Innsbruck 2012 saw the premiere of several new competition formats such as women’s ski jumping, snowboard slopestyle, freestyle skiing halfpipe, speed skating mass start and the ice hockey skills challenge. New mixed-gender formats included the biathlon team relay, the curling team competition, the Alpine skiing parallel team event as well as a team competition combining ski jumping and cross-country skiing. To strengthen team spirit and friendship among athletes, mixed-NOC competitions brought thrilling action in the curling mixed doubles and the short track speed skating and luge relays.