News detail

12 February 2015

One year to go until the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games begin!


The celebration is marked with the unveiling of an OMEGA Countdown Clock in the city’s centre.

On 12 February 2016, spectators and athletes around the world will set their sights on Lillehammer, Norway for the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. The extravagant celebration will be held exactly 22 years after the Opening Ceremony of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games hosted by the same city. From 12 to 21 February 2016, 1100 athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 representing 70 nations will compete in 70 medal events. OMEGA will measure, record and distribute the results of each participating athlete in every event.  

To celebrate the “one year to go” milestone on 11 February 2015 at 7 p.m., OMEGA unveiled a specially made Countdown Clock that represents the fresh and dynamic atmosphere that is associated with these exciting Games. The 3.5-metre OMEGA Countdown Clock is located in the Lilletorget city centre and will count down the remaining days, hours, minutes and seconds to the Opening Ceremony. The fixture is decorated with the official logo of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games logo and a declaration of OMEGA’s role at these Games. At the base of the clock is a vibrant design element that resembles large multi-coloured gems.

Present at the unveiling of the Countdown Clock were OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, IOC Vice President Nawal El Moutawakel and Norway’s Minister of Culture Thorild Widvey.

The Games in Lillehammer are the fourth edition of the Youth Olympic Games and OMEGA has been the Official Timekeeper of each of these incredible sporting spectacles. Speaking about what it means for OMEGA to be involved in the continuation of the Olympic Movement, Mr Urquhart said: “The results tell us who will be on the medal podium but they do so much more than that. They inspire and motivate young sportsmen and sportswomen around the world and this is at the very root of the Olympic Movement. OMEGA is proud to have such a direct involvement in supporting this spirit.”

Lillehammer 2016 CEO Tomas Holmestad said: “We are proud to work with OMEGA. Its service and experience is vital to making Lillehammer 2016 a successful event. The Countdown Clock itself is an impressive statement of its dedication to our event and a great gift to the city of Lillehammer. We are honoured to have received all the support OMEGA has given us so far and we look forward to hosting the Games with OMEGA as the Official Timekeeper.”

OMEGA and the Olympic Games
OMEGA first served as Official Olympic Timekeeper in Los Angeles in 1932. At that edition of the Games, a lone watchmaker travelled from Switzerland with thirty chronograph stopwatches which were used to time every discipline. Eighty years later, at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the commitment had increased to 450 timekeeping and data-handling professionals and more than 400 tonnes of equipment. After OMEGA’s services at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games are complete, the brand will set its sights on Brazil for the Games in Rio where it will serve as Official Timekeeper for the 27th time.