The International Olympic Committee (IOC)revealed the names of the finalist candidate cities from which the host city for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 will be elected.

Innsbruck and Kuopio were selected by the IOC Executive Board last week, and will now be submitted to a postal vote by the IOC members. The host city will be announced by IOC President Jacques Rogge in a live web cast on  provisionally scheduled for Dec.12, 2008.

The EB’s decision on the two finalists was based on an IOC Evaluation Commission report. Chaired by Pernilla Wiberg, the Commission assessed the projects of the four shortlisted Candidate Cities – Harbin (China), Innsbruck (Austria), Kuopio (Finland) and Lillehammer (Norway). The report focused on the risks associated with the organization of the Games within the timeframe of only three years to plan and prepare to host the first edition of this new event.

The vote will take place over the coming weeks, with all IOC members, except those from Innsbruck and Kuopio, entitled to vote. An independent and certified notary based in Lausanne, Switzerland, will oversee the process to guarantee confidentiality.

The city with the highest number of votes will be elected as the host city of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, marking the conclusion of a candidature process that started in March 2008.