Switzerland is set to send 95 athletes to the Winter EYOF in Friuli Venezia Giulia ©Getty Images

Switzerland is set to send its largest team to the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) to date in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, with 95 athletes selected.

The Swiss delegation consists of 53 men, 42 women and 41 members of staff.

This compares to the 48 athletes who represented Switzerland at last year's Winter EYOF in Vuokatti.

The larger team for Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 is partially explained by Swiss Olympic's decision to send teams to compete in the men's and women's ice hockey tournaments.

Switzerland is also due to be represented in Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, ski mountaineering, Alpine snowboard, snowboard cross and snowboard freestyle at the Winter EYOF.

Corinne Staub is serving as Switzerland's Chef de Mission in Friuli Venezia Giulia, and believes that the large team at the Festival bodes well for the future of winter sport in the country.

Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 is scheduled to begin on Saturday (January 21) ©EOC
Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 is scheduled to begin on Saturday (January 21) ©EOC

"The fact that we were able to select this impressive number of talents once again underlines the diversity of Swiss sport and is a very strong sign of the future," Staub said.

"The EYOF is first and foremost an Olympic training event."

The Winter EYOF is open to athletes aged 14 to 18, and is scheduled for January 21 to 28.

More than 2,000 athletes from 40 countries are expected to take part, although Russian and Belarusian athletes are excluded due to the war in Ukraine.

Switzerland finished second on the medals table at Sarajevo and Istočno Sarajevo 2019 with five golds, but ranked only 15th at Vuokatti 2022 with two silvers and five bronzes.