Soon after having inaugurated the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival last Sunday in Brasov, the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta (in picture) said that organizing this festival is too expensive, and “after the guests leave, we will check whether it had to cost that much,” said the PM. He agreed however that the festival is beneficial for Brasov and for Romania in general, without giving details about the actual cost of organizing it.
The former Regional Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea also attended the opening festivities, and said that organizing the event was worth it after having been criticized for three years, referring to the investments made in winter sports infrastructure during her mandate. The current Tourism Minister Maria Grapini however said previously that tens of millions of euros were spent in tourism without visible effects. In response, Udrea highlighted the EUR 45 million spent on tourism and sports infrastructure in the resorts on Prahova Valley where the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival is currently taking place.
The festival started on February 17 and is due to end on February 22. Some 900 athletes are competing at the festival and 600 delegation members from 45 countries are also attending the event. Eight local hotels are accommodating the athletes and visitors.
Each event has its own venue; Alpine Skiing will take place at the Poiana Braşov, while the Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboarding will be at Predeal. Cheile Gradistei hosts the Biathlon and the Ski Jumping is at the new jump in Rasnov. The Ice Hockey is down at the arena in Braşov itself.
All the seven ski slopes in Poiana Brasov, near Brasov, will stay open during the festival, as well as the cable transport. However, the upper part of the Lupului slope will be closed down for tourists and dedicated to training for the festival, together with the lower part of Subteleferic slope, where the alpine ski competition will take place.
(photo source: Youth Olympics Winter Festival’s Facebook page)