Competitive spirit takes over Maribor after the Opening ceremony
Maribor, 24 July 2023 – Competitive spirit and sporting passion filled the atmosphere in Maribor, where the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2023 was officially opened yesterday. All 3,635 members of the national teams took to the stage to perform for a crowd of several thousand. The sports and arts event at Ljudski vrt was accompanied by a performance by the famous music group Joker Out. The President of Slovenia, Dr Nataša Pirc Musar, and the President of the European Olympic Committees, Spyros Capralos, were also keynote speakers.
Before the opening ceremony, we witnessed the first tennis matches, where Slovenian athletes had already achieved their first victories. In the men’s competition, the young Žiga Šeško won 2-0 against the Finnish Lucas Korsstrom, with a score of 2-0.
Today, there is a growing sporting scene, with young talents competing in athletics, handball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. The Slovenian swimming team opened the second day of competition at EYOF early this morning. On the tennis court, the Slovenian team was represented by Zoja Peternel and Svit Suljić.
Volleyball matches can be watched in the Draš Hall. 14 national teams will compete. In the Leon Štukelj Sports Centre, we are watching the women’s handball players, while the men’s handball players will also take to the floor for the first time today in the Vrbanska Sports Hall.
All eyes are also on the athletics track, where the girls will compete for medals. The first medals will be awarded today at the Poljane Athletics Stadium in the girls’ 3,000 metres category, while the boys’ 5km category will see medals awarded.
A tense atmosphere and sporting enthusiasm will surely fill the Pristan Baths when the girls’ 400m medley final will take place at 18:00, while the boys will compete in the 400m free final.

Today also marks the start of side events at the Athletes Village, where young athletes will be able to spend their free time in an interesting, fun, and educational way. Alongside these activities, there are also events open to the public and free of charge. There will be plenty of activities on the Main Square, Freedom Square and in Maribor City Park.