By Daniel Etchells at the IMD Business School in Lausanne

Francisco Irarrázaval was speaking at the Smart Cities & Sport Summit in Lausanne ©ITGFrancisco Irarrázaval, chief executive of Buenos Aires 2018, has promised the Argentinian capital will deliver a Summer Youth Olympic Games that "will inspire" by focusing on human development and social integration and they are not thinking beyond that event. 

Buenos Aires beat Glasgow and South American rival Medellin by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in July 2013.

It followed four unsuccessful bids for the Summer Olympic Games in 1936, 1956, 1968 and 2004.

Speaking at the Smart Cities & Sport Summit here, Irarrázaval stressed his belief that cities should bid to host major events, not only to build infrastructure and create a legacy, but to develop and integrate society. 

"We will get people involved in a way that they'll be part of the Games and they'll be inspired by them, and we will work with people through cultural programmes and educational programmes," said Irarrázaval, who is also Under-Secretary of Sport at Buenos Aires City Council..

"That is the issue for us.

"It's about being an active city and a smart city and at the end of it, what we need is smart people.

"People, who are not only recycling garbage or going by bike to work, but who really want to part of the city in which they live, and sport is an incredible catalyst for this."

Buenos Aires were chosen as hosts of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in July 2013  ©Getty ImagesBuenos Aires were chosen as hosts of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in July 2013
©Getty Images

Buenos Aires 2018 has vowed to bring sport to its 2.6 million young residents, particularly in the inner city, when it hosts the Games in just under four years' time.

Irarrázaval, a former rugby player capped three times by Argentina, claimed it is important to encourage children to participate in sport as it can quickly have a domino effect.

"If you get youth engaged at the early stages, you'll get them in sports all their lives," he added.

"Believe me, when you throw a ball to kids and they're content, everybody wants to be part of it.

"It's not that difficult."

Although Irarrázaval anticipates a successful Games, he insisted a future bid for the senior equivalent is not on the Buenos Aires' agenda at the moment.

That is despite the fact the Argentine Olympic Committee claimed last month they hoped to use the Youth Olympics as the launchpad for a bid in the near future, although they did also float the idea of Patagonia as a potential host for the Winter Gams. 

"We are not thinking about it right now," Irarrázaval told insidethegames.

"We think the main task we have now is the Youth Olympic Games.

"This is the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games from the first in Singapore, then Nanjing.

"Buenos Aires has evolved a lot and we have an enormous responsibility of being the hosts of the third Games.

"We are trying to get this human approach of how to not only deliver functional stadiums and the Games, but getting people really involved in cultural and educational programmes, during five years' worth of work."

The 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires will help the city become more active, it is hoped ©Getty ImagesThe 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires will help the city become more active, it is hoped ©Getty Images

Many of the 330 local sports clubs within Buenos Aires will be called upon to help with the organisation of the Games and to provide training facilities for athletes.

A nationwide engagement programme has already been rolled out to target 1.5 million talented youngsters and encourage participation in sports.

The Games will also feature a newly established Youth Commission, a group of young consultants chosen by the Argentine Olympic Committee from local schools and universities. 

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 Patagonia put forward as potential Winter Olympic bid by Argentina
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