By Tom Degun

Mauricio_Macri__with_Werthein_at_launch_of_Buenos_Aires_2018August 30 - Buenos Aires is set to bid for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics Games, the city's Mayor Mauricio Macri officially announced today.

He made the announcement together with Gerardo Werthein, the President of the Argentinian Olympic Committee, at a special ceremony at the headquarter of the Buenos Aires Government. 

"It is the beginning of a great dream," said Werthein, who last month was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

"This is a very strong move because the Olympics have a huge audience and would put Buenos Aires and Argentina at the centre of the world.

"Sport is a key issue.

"We will emphasise the importance of investing in the seed for a future sporting potential for Argentina.

"But the initiative is not only about sports but also about cultural and social integration.

"The goal is for children around the world to compete and share values of respect for competition and in life.

"This helps build a better society.

"Hosting this event could be the beginning of a way to think of an Olympic bid six or ten years later."

Buenos Aires is set to face stiff competition to host the third Summer Youth Olympics with Monterrey in Mexico, Medellín in Colombia, Kazan in Russia, The Hague in the Netherlands and Abuja in Nigeria all likely to bid for the competition.

Makhachkala, in Dagestan, a neighbour of Chechnya, has also expressed an interest in bidding.

Buenos Aires bid for the 2004 Olympics and Paralympics but were knocked out in the first round.

They secured 16 votes, the same as Cape Town, but then lost in a run-off. 

The Games were awarded to Athens. 

It was Buenos Aires' fourth bid, having also tried unusccesfully for 1936, 1956 and 1968.

But Macri is optimistic that the Argentinian city, the second-largest metropolitan area in South America after Sao Paulo, can come out on top this time.

"As we are cultural city model, we can be a model in sports," he said.

"When there is passion, nothing is impossible.

"So we are all committed to this and expect to announce shortly that we have succeeded in the bid.

"Buenos Aires has everything to host the Olympic Games young people."

All bids for the 2018 Youth Olympics must be confirmed to the IOC by March 1, 2012 with the IOC set to select the host city for the event in April 2013.

Buenos Aires is due to host the IOC Session, where the host city for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, in September 2013. 

The Youth Olympic Games are credited as being the brainchild of current IOC President Jacques Rogge.

The inaugural Summer Youth Olympics took place in Singapore last year and were widely regarded as a huge success.

The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Innsbruck in early 2012 and the second Summer Youth Olympics will take place in Nanjing in China in 2014.

Lillehammer in Norway is the only city to have bid for the second Winter Youth Olympics in 2016 and are set to be awarded the competition by the IOC later this year.

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