On the 22nd of November the event was officially opened by IOC President Thomas Bach, IPC president Andrew Parsons, SOI CEO Mary Davis, among the speakers during the Launch Ceremony.

In the weekend prior to the Launch, four live workshops were broadcasted as part of the seven-day event, which is being hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Launch Ceremony was broadcast live on the Olympic Channel, featuring messages from  different world leaders and performances from children from across the world.

In his remarks, Bach claimed the UTS World Virtual Youth Festival epitomised sport’s role in promoting global unity.

“The fact that this UTS Festival is taking place only virtually demonstrates that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much a reality for all of us,” the IOC President commented.

“At the same time this festival is also a wonderful illustration of how sport always builds bridges and brings people together, no matter how far apart we may be.

“This is why my message to all the children and youngsters participating in this festival is – have a lot of fun over the coming days.

“This is what sport is all about, making us dream, inspiring us, encouraging us to always give it our best, making new friends and filling our hearts with joy.

“The IOC is proud to be a patron for this unique event, spreading the values of sport and the Olympic spirit in these difficult times.”

Parsons pledged the IPC’s support for UTS’ ambitions during his speech, and argued that the event could be used as a chance to promote opportunities for all through sport.

“Dear youth, we will all continue to do our best to give you opportunities, support and chances to thrive,” he said.

“After the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, we are stronger and more resilient than ever, and together we can and we will change the world.

“We can show the youth that we care about their futures and that we will act together to ensure that opportunity exists for everyone.”

Right after the Launch the Conference was opened by HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud. Followed by different the speakers who discussed the events being staged as part of the World Virtual Youth Festival, which is scheduled to run until Saturday (November 27).

The Launch Ceremony can be watch at: https://riyadh2021.uts.sportTo find out more about the festival visit: or to discuss further email

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