58OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNERresearch projects will not only provide valuable anduseful information but will also help to contribute to aYOG legacy. With this in mind, and in order to ensurethe smooth running of these research projects, theInnsbruck Youth Olympic Games OrganisingCommittee (IYOGOC) set up the Innsbruck 2012 YouthOlympic Games Laboratory for Youth and Innovation(YOGINN 2012).The YOGINN 2012 has its headquarters at theDepartment of Sport Science at the University ofInnsbruck, and acts as the link between IYOGOC andthe academic world. Whilst IYOGOC devotes its fullattention to the operational issues involved in deliveringthe YOG, YOGINN 2012 concentrates on supporting thescholars in their research projects related to the event.The laboratory supports IYOGOC in the followingareas: scientific research work (enriched not only byscholars but also by students); the development ofGames-related sustainableinitiatives; the involvementof students via an internship programme; theestablishment of a regional transfer of knowledgeprogramme and the set up of the official Observersprogramme. All these initiatives are complementedwith academic activities such as university teachingprogrammes and symposia. Launched in October2010, YOGINN 2012 has already seen the outcomesin many of the areas mentioned above. ACADEMIC RESEARCH WORKA first wave of bachelor, master and diploma theseshas already been completed and presented atconferences. Two examples are a diploma thesisentitled Transfer of Knowledge at Major Sport Eventsin the case of the YOG 2012(which was presented at the first international Sport Economic andManagement Symposia of the University of Innsbruckin the spring of 2011) and a master's thesis onResident perceptions and expectations of the YOG2012. Other studies from a range of universitieslooked at various aspects of the preparation andrunning of the Games. Subjects included theexpectations and motivation of those volunteering,the impact of the Games in rebranding Innsbruck asa tourist destination, the potential to create a sportinglegacy and the increase in participation in sport orthe social impact on the local youth. A range of other YOGINN 2012 research projectsare underway and will be evaluated during theGames. As the vision of the Youth Olympic Games is to inspire young people around the world toparticipate in sports, an essential part of the researchwill deal with this topic. The new formats, such asmixed National Olympic Committee (NOC) events andmixed gender events, will also be assessed byinterviewing a range of stakeholders. As volunteersare an important component in a sports event, agreat deal of weight will be given to this area, andthe satisfaction levels of the 1,400 volunteers will be analysed alongside their motivation andexpectations. In addition, data collection will be carried out incooperation with the International Olympic Committee(IOC) and the University of Innsbruck, theManagement Centre Innsbruck and other Tyroleanresearch institutions. One of these research questions will look at theinfluence of relative age on participation in the YOG.This project will consider whether there aresignificant differences between athletes of differentages participating (for example, athletes competingwithin the same age category, but one born inJanuary and the other in December of the sameyear). Two projects will focus on psychologicalaspects of the participants. The first will look at thequality of life and psychological well-being andnational elite sport development systems of theparticipants. The second, on coach-athlete interaction,competitive anxiety and performance. A medicalrelated project will assess sport injuries and illnessduring the Games and followresearch patternsalready tested at other Olympic events.As at the YOG in Singapore in 2010, a range ofstakeholders -athletes,NOC representatives,YoungAmbassadors, Athlete Role Models and YoungReporters -will be interviewedvia focus groups andquestionnaires on their experiences, with the findings used to improve the innovative event formatof the YOG.SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES In terms of Games-related sustainable initiatives, the IYOGOC and the YOGINN collaborated in thedevelopment of an adapted version of the SustainableSport & Event Toolkit (SSET). This toolkit wasimplemented by students of the University of AppliedStudies in Kufstein and includes activities undertakenby the Organising Committee. These include a multi-use tableware cleaning system (which will beimplemented for the first time) and the donation ofthe Youth Olympic Village (YOV) furniture to charitableinstitutions. The objectives of this toolkit are toincorporate sustainability in organisational terms, tomeasure established practices in a concrete way andto facilitate long-term local benefits for youth andsport communities in the Tyrol. INTERNSHIPSThe volunteer community for the 2012 Winter YOG includes many university students. Of the 1400 volunteers, 540 are students of the University of Innsbruck. Students can gain uniquework experience by volunteering, which will benefitthem in their future careers.RightResearchcarried out bybachelor andmasters studentswill support theOrganisingCommittee BelowrightThe YOGINN2012 has itsheadquarters atthe University ofInnsbruck
TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE During the Games, YOGINN 2012 also provides the implementation of the transfer of knowledge and the IOC Observer Programme. The idea is tooffer future Games organisers, as well as potentialbid cities, a living and learning experience of the Winter YOG operations. A four-day programme willinclude seminars on topics such as workforce, YOV operations, sports, Games services and Culture and Education Programme (CEP) activities.Additional venue visits in Innsbruck and Seefeld are also planned. As a result of a "wider approach", an additionalObserver Programme will give organisers of non-Olympic sporting events, university students andresearchers the opportunity to participate and lookbehind the scenes of the Games.Finally, all the research results will be broughttogether and made public. A Symposium at theDepartment of Sports Science is planned for theautumn of 2012 to present and discuss the studiesrelated to the YOG in Innsbruck and assess whethertargets have been achieved. Innsbruck's expertise in hosting winter sportsevents as well as its modern youth culture willcertainly facilitate the delivery of a truly innovativeOlympic event. The Innsbruck University communityis seizing this unique opportunity for research and analysis, which will not only provide valuable and useful information to all stakeholdersinvolved but will also help to contribute to a YOG legacy. ?OLYMPIC REVIEW59Martin Schnitzer is currentlyundertaking his PhD in SportScience at the University ofInnsbruck and is the founder ofthe Innsbruck 2012 YouthOlympic Games Laboratory forYouth and Innovation (YOGINN2012). He served as CEO of the Innsbruck 2012 bid and has been working in the sports eventindustry for more than 10 years.