By Nick Butler at the Main Media Centre in Nanjing

Thomas Bach, speaking alongside Nanjing 2014 executive-president Yang Weize, was full of praise for these Youth Olympics ©ITGInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has vowed to "do his best" to allow exhibition events and initiation programmes to be showcased at future Olympic Games, although he admits this will require much "study and consultation".

Bach was speaking this afternoon shortly before the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games here, where a Sports Lab featuring four demonstration sports - roller skating, skateboarding, sport climbing and wushu - has been of the highlights.

A series of initiation events have also been held to encourage new participants in sports already on the programme, with athletes and local people among those to have benefited.

Lillehammer 2016 chief executive Tomas Holmestad told insidethegames during the Games that he would love to introduce a Sports Lab similar to the one seen here, although he admits it would be harder to adapt the concept to winter disciplines.

After praising the success of the venture, Bach revealed the IOC will speak with the Winter Youth Olympic organisers, although he also echoed the doubts of Holmestad.

"We will have to consider the difference between the Summer and Winter, and also the host country," Bach said.

"In Lillehammer we are in the heartland of winter sports.

"The kids of Lillehammer, they are all on skis before they even start to walk, so this kind of exploration is maybe not so much needed."

Thomas Bach tried out several of the demonstrations sports when visiting the Sports Lab during Nanjing 2014 ©ITGThomas Bach tried out several of the demonstrations sports when visiting the Sports Lab during Nanjing 2014 ©ITG

Bach also spoke enthusiastically about the initiation events, and sees it as something they will discuss with both Lillehammer 2016 and Rio 2016.

Once again he was optimistic but cautious, referring implicitly to the already tight construction timetable faced by Rio 2016 as something that could prevent there being time for such a plan.

"Not only are we looking to have a Sports Lab but also to offer some of the International Federations, if they want it, to present the kind of initiation programme you saw here, to make themselves more popular all over the world," he revealed.

"This will need some study and consultation because, two years before the Games, the Organising Committee and everybody has to concentrate on the delivery and success of the Games, and you may have to set priorities.

"We will do our best."

Elsewhere, Bach was in a jovial mood, praising multiple aspects of Nanjing 2014, with the Youth Olympic Village selected as his favourite aspect.

He claimed the IOC has "made a great effort" to make these Games successful and financially feasible, and that they will continue to do this at future Games.

"In Lillehammer, we are financing the construction of the Youth Olympic Village and we will also do so in Buenos Aires [in 2018]," he said.

"We have already met with organisers and representatives from the City Government, to see how Buenos Aires can learn from the sustainable part of the organisation, to make the best use of existing facilities, and to take advantage of their great culture of sport."

There will be a focus on sustainability at the next Winter Youth Olympics Games, in Lillehammer in 2016 ©Getty ImagesThere will be a focus on sustainability at the next Winter Youth Olympics Games, in Lillehammer in 2016 ©Getty Images

Reflecting on an issue that has formed a running theme here over the last two weeks, Bach admitted being surprised at the enthusiasm with which everyone took on board his call for everyone to take as many "selfies" as possible, made during the Opening Ceremony.

"That was fun," he said.

"I would never have expected such an impact in the Opening Ceremony. 

"I still remember the first discussions we had in the IOC when the communications team tried to come up with the idea, and they did not dare to ask whether I would consider it!

"But I liked the idea from the beginning and the only discussion was when and how to do it, and I decided to do it at the beginning as it would have such an impact."

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