February 4 - India have claimed victory in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) World Mile video contest, a key initiative of the Culture and Education Programme featured at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck last month.
The Culture and Education Programme has been one of the big success stories of the Youth Olympics so far, after debuting at the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, 2010.
During Innsbruck 2012, the programme saw local school classes from across Tyrol challenged with presenting the countries participating in the Games in a creative and interactive way using a stand just 12 metres².
A total of 56 nations were showcased this way as part of the YOG World Mile, with young camera teams from Innsbruck Media College on hand to record the children's presentations and activities in short video clips.
These were then uploaded to the online platform Planet Tirol, where registered users could vote for their favourite country presentation between January 25 and February 1.
No fewer than 15,742 votes were cast in just eight days, with India taking top spot – thanks to an excellent presentation by class 2B from the secondary school for economics and business in Lienz in East Tyrol.
As a reward for their hard work, the class received a €5,000 (£4,150/$6,580) travel voucher.
"We are looking forward to going travelling together and we may even go to India," said teacher Silvia Ebner, who was responsible for coordinating the school's contribution to the YOG World Mile.
Verena Sperlm, the head of the Culture and Education Programme, revealed she was delighted with how popular the project proved with local schools.
"It's great that so many classes got involved in the YOG World Mile and helped give the atmosphere in Congress Innsbruck a truly international flair," she said.
"I would also like to thank the pupils from Innsbruck Media College who recorded each of the 56 stands for the video contest."
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, the man credited with creating the Youth Olympic Games, has continuously praised the success for the culture and education programme and has said that he would like to see it appear at the traditional Olympic Games, but in a version "adapted for adults".
Click here to see the winning YOG World Mile Video.
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