Concerns have been raised about a lack of space within the Athletes' Village, which was officially opened last month ©Lillehammer 2016

Lillehammer 2016 are not planning to add more rooms to house athletes at next February's Winter Youth Olympics, despite concerns over rooms currently used by one student being shared between four competitors during the Games.

This was highlighted as a concern during last week's Chef de Mission Seminar in the Norwegian resort, as well as during the latest inspection visit by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission, insidethegames understands.

Despite the focus on communal areas, an athletes' room is considered a key place for them to spend time both in their preparation and their recovery from competition, as well as to store large and bulky kit required for many winter events.

Two sets of bunk beds will be placed in each, with the rooms said to be of a good size for a student room but very small for four people.

Each unit will be between 18 and 19 square metres and contain a suite bathroom and kitchenette, with a message on the Organising Committee website describing them as "crowded, but cozy".

But Lillehammer 2016 chief executive Tomas Holmestad is confident the athlete experience will not be affected, and maintains there is no need to add more rooms.

A typical apartment to be used by up to four athletes during next year's Winter Youth Olympic Games ©Lillehammer 2016
A typical apartment to be used by up to four athletes during next year's Winter Youth Olympic Games ©Lillehammer 2016

"It is no surprise to us that this was raised as a slight concern from some NOCs during the Chef de Mission seminar," he told insidethegames.

"The fact that four people will be sharing rooms has been a part of our concept from the bid phase, and was agreed with the IOC at that stage in the spirit of the YOG DNA.

"It is a fact that it will be tight, but if you look at the totality of the Village also including the YOV square with Haakons Hall having 23.000 square metres with floor space as the home of the learn and share [programme], the dining hall and many of the other services, there is sufficient space.

"I am absolutely confident that the total athlete experience will be good."

He claims they are not looking at adding any more rooms, but will "ensure to utilise the space we have in the optimal way to the best of the athletes".

He added: "The Village will be a unique place for the young athletes to live and learn, with youth from 70 nations learning to live together in a compact environment, very close to the city centre."

Next February's Games will be the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympics following an inaugural event held in Innsbruck in 2012, with a third edition having been awarded to Lausanne in 2020.

Building work for the Youth Olympic Village taking place earlier this summer ©Lillehammer 2016
Building work for the Youth Olympic Village taking place earlier this summer ©Lillehammer 2016

However, there appears much optimism over other areas of preparations following the final Coordination Commission inspection, with the IOC body's chair, American ice hockey star Angela Ruggiero, claiming "the team in Lillehammer should be very proud of what they are developing".

"This event stands out from other sports competitions as a wonderful combination of elite sport, a festive atmosphere and the opportunity for young people to be inspired and learn through sport," she added following the visit.

The Youth Olympic Village is a key part of the concept for the Games, with 360 student apartments realised through an "extraordinary contribution" from the IOC.

Students, mostly on sports-related courses at local insitutions, are currently residing in these apartments before vacating them ahead of the Games, in what has been hailed as a great legacy in Lillehammer.

Holmestad added how the buildings have a "great and innovative design, and are built in a very sustainable way, showcasing several innovative solutions and without any HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) related incidents".

The Games, reusing many venues from the 1994 Winter Olympics, are due to take place from February 12 to 21, with over 1,000 athletes expected to compete across 70 events.

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