The Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 Winter EYOF began with an Opening Ceremony in Trieste ©EOC

Italian track cycling Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Milan has lit the Cauldron in Friuli Venezia Giulia to mark the start of the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

The Flame of Peace for Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 was lit at the Museum of the Ara Pacis in Italy's capital Rome at the start of November before it made a 10-leg journey to the north of the country.

Milan, a men's team pursuit winner at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and a native of Tolmezzo in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, was chosen to light the Cauldron with the Flame of Peace at the Opening Ceremony, staged at the Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste.

The 47 participating nations had earlier taken part in the Parade of Nations, with hosts Italy the last to be officially welcomed to the Winter EYOF.

Italy's flagbearers were boys' Nordic combined athlete Luca Libener and girls' ice hockey player Giorgia Todesco.

European Olympic Committees President Spyros Capralos was joined by other notable officials including fellow International Olympic Committee member Giovanni Malagò, the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee and Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Organising Committee, and Italian Minister for Sport and Youth Andrea Abodi in attending the Opening Ceremony.

Lights and laser shows also formed a prominent part in proceedings.

More than 1,300 athletes from 47 countries are taking part in the Winter EYOF, which also features events in Slovenia and Austria.

Competition is due to begin tomorrow with freestyle skiing and snowboard big air qualification, short track speed skating heats in the 2,000 metres mixed relay and matches in the boys' and girls' ice hockey.