Lillehammer 2016

Following on from its popular appearance in the Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, ice climbing featured as part of the sports initiation programme at the 2nd edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games held in Lillehammer, Norway, from 12-21 February. 

Ice Climbing was part of the Sjoggfest (meaning snow festival and named after the event mascot, Sjogg) where a dedicated ice climbing wall, located at the Tyrili Climbing Centre, was open throughout the event. Two separate ice climbing opportunities were organised at the wall: ‘showcase’ and ‘get active’.

The UIAA worked closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the LYOGOC (Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee)  and Tyrili climbing center in defining a specific programme for ice climbing.

The showcase event saw some of the world’s best youth ice climbers, from countries including France, Iran, Russia, Switzerland and the United States, demonstrate ice climbing techniques and engage in exciting speed duels. The ‘get active’ element of the programme allowed visitors, fellow athletes and journalists, the opportunity to try out ice climbing under the guidance of expert coaches and athletes.

Photo: Gisle Johnsen / Lillehammer 2016

Ice climbing’s presence in Lillehammer follows on from its popular appearance in the Olympic Park at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014. The two events are key stepping stones in the UIAA’s quest to ensure ice climbing becomes part of the official event programme at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.



Among the visitors at the ice climbing wall was IOC President Thomas Bach who met athletes and coaches and experienced a live showcase. Throughout the week, the ice climbing wall proved one of the more popular and challenging attractions. ‘Fun, dynamic, crazy, exciting, tough, fast…’ were some of the more commonly heard phrases from those trying the sport out for the first time.


Images courtesy of Ian Jones/IOC

"We were delighted to be part of Lillehammer 2016,” explained UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt. "Following on from Sochi in 2014, it is vital we maintain this momentum and presence within the Olympic family. The engagement from the public was incredible and it reiterated how engaging and appealing this sport is. Furthermore, being part of the youth movement is crucial, the UIAA recently hosted an extremely competitive World Youth Championships and the commitment and passion of these young athletes is key to the sport’s growth.”

A dedicated Lillehammer 2016 photo gallery is available to view on the UIAA Flickr account, below. Images provided by athletes and official photographers from the IOC and the Youth Winter Olympic Games.

Winter Youth Olympic Games, Lillehammer 2016

For further details about the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games please visit:

Dedicated UIAA / Lillehammer 2016 news releases:

Youth Olympic Games Welcomes Ice Climbing
One Day To Lillehammer

Ice Climbing Wall Open at Lillehammer2016
Ice Climbing scales new heights at Lillehammer 2016