Zhukov gives backing to Dagestan 2018 Youth Olympics bid

Thursday, 29 December 2011
By David Gold

Alexander Zhukov_in_front_of_Russian_Olympic_Committee_logoDecember 29 - Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov has voiced his support for Dagestan's bid to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Earlier this week it was confirmed the ROC had been sent by Dagestan their bid proposal for the Games, which would take place in Kaspiysk.

"I think it's a good idea, though, of course, the problem is - in Dagestan, as such there is no sports facilities, although there are plans to build," Zhukov, who is also Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, was quoted by RIA Novosti.

"The question may be complicated by the fact that during the Youth Games, International Olympic Committee's approach is to minimise costs.

"But on the other hand, those objects that are supposed to be used in Dagestan will be built.

"This is a delicate issue, but in principle it would be nice if there were Youth Olympic Games."

One thing in their favour could be the increased profile of the region thanks to the investment of billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, the owner of wealthy football team Anzhi Makhachkala.

He has signed players including Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o to help turn Anzhi into one of the top teams in the country, and has promised to invest $200 million (£128 million/€153 million) in Makhachkala to help develop the area, including a new 40,000 seater stadium.

The region, in the south of Russia not far from Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be held, is plagued by terrorism and political violence and shares a border with with the troubled Chechnya, so much so that Anzhi train in Moscow and only fly to Makhachkala to play home games.

If Kaspiysk is successful in winning the race to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics it will be the latest major sporting event to come to the country in the next decade.

As well as Sochi 2014, the football World Cup will come to Russia in 2018, the World Athletics Championships in 2013 and the World Aquatics Championships and World Ice Hockey Championships in 2015.

The likes of Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Medellín, Abuja, Monterrey and the Hague are likely to also be competing to host the 2018 Youth Olympics.

Contact the writer of this story at david.gold@insidethegames.biz


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