December 14 - The South American Games will return to its birthplace in 2018 after the Bolivian city of Cochabamba was today named as the event host thanks to the personal support of the nation's President, Evo Morales.
The central city was awarded the competition at the South American Sports Organisation (ODESUR) General aAssembly in Rio de Janeiro, after its sole challenger - the Peruvian capital of Lima - had withdrawn its candidacy just the day before.
Morales had arrived in Rio yesterday to meet with ODESUR President Carlos Nuzman to ratify the support of his Government to Bolivia's candidacy to host the 2018 Games.
"First I wish to thank the leaders of ODESUR, but also the leaders of Peru and the Peruvian people, because they understood the importance of the Games returning to Bolivia," he said.
"We have to work hard from now.
"It is a joint task of all the Bolivian people.
"We will be organising a big mobilisation, as we always do in the case of international events, to be able to show a good image of Cochabamba and of Bolivia in the 2018 Games."
Nuzman highlighted the commitment made by Morales and added that the event is helping to boost the international profile of South America's sports movement.
"We are very pleased with the determination of the Bolivian Government to hold the event," he explained.
"The visit of President Evo Morales to Rio de Janeiro demonstrates that commitment and confirms the growing importance of the Games in South America, which every day achieves more importance on the world stage.
"The 2016 Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro, the Youth Olympic Games 2018, in Buenos Aires, the Pan American Games 2019, in Lima, the Universiade 2019, in Brasília, and we still have the Football World Cup in Brazil next year.
"It is a great pleasure to hold the ODESUR South American Games in Cochabamba.
"These Games were created in Bolivia and therefore the return of the competition to their country of origin is a very important moment for sport, for the youth in Bolivia and, more than that, for the whole country before our continent."
ODESUR also received an update from the host city of the 2014 South American Games, Santiago in Chile, which revealed that it has secured classification for ten sports at the Pan American Games Toronto 2015 - karate, rugby, wrestling, bowling, equestrian, hockey, handball, modern pentathlon, cycling and triathlon - and is awaiting confirmation of waterskiing to qualify for Toronto.
Meanwhile, Vargas in Venezuela - host of the 2014 South American Beach Games - confirmed that the competition will take place on May 14 until 24 next year.
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