By Tom Degun in Singapore

August 24 - Safety will be the most important thing at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 as organisers strive to ensure that there will be no repeat of the tragic accident that caused the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in Vancouver earlier this year.

Peter Bayer, the chief executive of the Innsbruck 2012, has claimed that they will not sacrifice the well-being of competitors in an attempt to make the event more attractive.

He told insidethegames: "When I talk about having events that are a bit more funky and youthful for young athletes to participate in, it definitely does not mean playing with the safety of the athletes.

"Their safety is our primary goal."

Kumaritashvili, who was a 21-year-old men’s luger from Georgia, crashed and died during a 90 miles per hour training run for the Olympics in Vancouver on a track that was previously criticised for being far too dangerous.

But Bayer dismissed fears that the young athletes will be in any danger at the Games after stressing that the utmost care has been taken by organisers to ensure their safety in Innsbruck.

Bayer (pictured) said: "We are working very, very closely with all of the international federations regarding safety.

"The furthest winter sport federation from our offices is within six hours driving time of us so we really are in steady contact with them and since our venues are tested and used in top level events on a regular basis; everything you can humanly do is being done to guarantee the safety of the athletes.

"We want to have great sports events because that is what the Olympics are about."

The luge in 2012 is due to take place at the Olympic Sliding Centre.

The current combined track was built for the 1976 Olympics and is also used for bobsleigh. 

It is 1,270 metres long and features 14 turns when it is being used at its full length.

Bayer is currently visiting here to see if he can pick-up ideas from the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games, which are due to finish on Thursday (August 26).

Innsbruck was awarded the Games in December 2008, being chosen ahead of Kuopio in Finland.

Bayer told insidethegames: "You can expect a great Games in a wonderful, beautiful city that will have a fantastic atmosphere that appeals to the youth of the world but not at the expense of anyone’s safety.

"Innsbruck has had the honour of hosting the Winter Olympic Games twice before [in 1964 and 1976] and will are looking forward to doing so again to high standards.

"They will be fun and they will definitely appeal to kids but one thing you can be sure of is that the athletes will not be placed in any danger."

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