Finland’s midnight sun finally set on Sunday night as the European Para Youth Games 2019 came to an end, following 3 closely fought competition days of 8 sports. The final medal table was topped by Germany with 19 Gold, 14 Silver and 14 Bronze medals.
EPYG2019 hosted at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training center from the 25-30th June, was the fifth and largest edition of the Games to date with almost 600 participants from 27 countries.
The Games were loved by athletes and spectators alike and delivered fantastic highlights, including a World Record in the W20 F64. The memorable event ended with EPC President Ratko Kovacic declaring at the closing ceremony that EPYG 2019 was ‘the best games ever’ hosted.
Overseen by the European Paralympic Committee, the European Paralympic Youth Games are seen as an introductory international event for many aspiring para athletes, with the combination of new and rising stars in the Paralympic movement leading to an exciting competition for athletes and spectators alike. Conceived in 2011, the Games are part of the Committee’s aim to develop the Paralympic Movement by creating a platform to inspire young European athletes aged 13-23 to take part in Paralympic Sport and begin their Paralympic journey.
The 2019 edition of the Games included eight sports: athletics, boccia, goalball, judo, showdown (demonstration sport), swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
The Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, Finland’s only Olympic AND Paralympic Training Center, is fa- mous for its elite athlete training facilities and conveniently located accommodation services, all surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature and located on the shores of a fresh water lake. During EPYG 2019 the Training Center was transformed into an Athletes Village and utilised all of Pajulahti’s facilities as Training/Competition venues, with Swimming and Athletics taking place at external venues.
NPC Finland, Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU) were responsible for organizing the event. Also Finnish Sport Federations and regional sports clubs were involved in the event and were a determinate support for each discipline and provided technicians. Every sport and venue worked as an independent structure based on two sport directors, one from Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and one from Sport Federation. (Aquatics Finland, Finnish Athletics, Basketball Finland, Finnish Table Tennis Federation, Finnish Judo Association and Sport Association of Persons with Disabilities)