Glasgow through to last three of 2018 Summer Youth Olympics contest

Wednesday, 13 February 2013
By Duncan Mackay at the Palace Hotel in Lausanne

Olympic ringsFebruary 13 - Glasgow have been included on the shortlist of three cities to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, along with Buenos Aires and Medellin, after Guadalajara and Rotterdam were cut. 

The decision was taken by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) ruling Executive Board here this morning.

Glasgow, in the final stages of preparing to host next year's Commonwealth Games, received a glowing technical report from the Working Group headed by Germany's Claudia Bokel, the head of the IOC Athletes' Commission, but will face stiff competition from the two South American cities. 

"This is a proud moment for me as a Scot and a Glaswegian," said Sir Craig Reedie, the IOC vice-president.

"To have my home city shortlisted is a tremendous honour.

"With London 2012 our vision and our promise was to inspire a generation.

"What a unique opportunity we now have with a city that has both the facilities and the expertise to concentrate on the vision of the Youth Olympic Games and to give back to the youth of the world.

"From day one we promise to work in partnership with the Olympic family to reach out to young people across the globe."

Glasgow 2018 celebration on shortlistTo celebrate being shortlisted a flashmob dance celebration involving over 100 young people was held in Glasgow Central Station today

Buenos Aires sees hosting the Youth Olympics as the springboard for a bid for the full Games in 2028.

"We are honoured and delighted to be shortlisted and look forward to sharing our full Games vision with the Olympic Family over the remaining few months of the campaign," said Francisco Irarrazaval, the Buenos Aires Under-Secretary of Sport and chief executive of his city's bid.

"We feel that the IOC have given us a vote of confidence in our ability to stage the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and we will now fully digest the Working Group's report and explore how we can make our proposal even stronger.

"Over recent months we have developed a tailor-made plan that we believe fits perfectly with the needs of the athletes and what is needed to deliver a very special sporting, cultural and educational experience.

Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, meanwhile, hopes that staging the Games would  showcase its remarkable renaissance.

Once the centre of the country's drugs trade, the Medellín Cartel was at the height of its operation making $60 million (£39 million/€45 million) a day exporting illegal substances around the world. 

But in the last 20 years the city has undergone a miraclous transformation, dubbed the "Medllin Miracle" and this year has been as announced as the Latinamerican Capital City in Innovation due to their recent advances on politics, education and social development.

Medellin celebrate on being on short list for 2018 YOGAntioquia Governor Sergio Fajardo Valderrama, Sports Minister and IOC member Andres Botero Phillipsbourne, Medellin Mayor Aníbal Gaviria Correa, Colombian Olympic Committee President Baltazar Medina, and Medellín 2018 chief executive Juan Camilo Quintero celebrate being shortlisted

"We are thrilled with today's announcement from the IOC," stated Andres Botero Phillipsbourne, Colombia's Sports Minister, who is also a member of the IOC.

"It is a validation of the commitment the entire country has to bring this wonderful event to Colombia.

We would like to thank the IOC for continuing to show confidence in our candidature.

"The city of Medellin has a particularly compelling story and the IOC has recognised the city as an example of how sport can play a key role in social change.

"There has been a huge public investment in the city over the last decade in youth, education, sport and culture - the very same priorities as the Youth Olympic Games.

"The reality today is that Medellin would be the perfect fit to organise this event."

Guadalajara and Rotterdam had both been expected to be cut.

Guadalajara is still suffering financial problems after hosting the 2011 Pan American and Parapan Games while Rotterdam's plans were considered insufficient to host a 13-day event which attracted 3,517 athletes from 205 countries when it made its debut on the international calendar at Singapore in 2010.

Their bid not contain enough financial guarantees from the Dutch Government and also a plan to house some competitors in tents was seen as particularly badly thought out.

The next stage for each of the three shortlisted cities is a video conference between them and the IOC next month.

An Evaluation Report will then be prepared and circulated to IOC members before the final here, in Lausanne, on July 4. 

To read the full report of the Working Group pdfclick here.

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz
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