I was happy to see that 6 cities officially submitted applications to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG). It gives a strong endorsement that cities consider the YOG as a significant global sport event that will bring positive impact to their country/region.
2018 will be the 3rd edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games. The National Olympic Comittees who put forth cities include: Argentina (Buenos Aires), Colombia (Medellín), Great Britain (Glasgow), Mexico (Guadalajara), Netherlands (Rotterdam), and Poland (Poznań).
Why Sport Matters attended the 2010 South American Games in Medellin, where the country’s sport administrators were talking back then about bidding for a future YOG following the success of that event. Medellin has an incredible story about their efforts to change daily life for its citizens as well as the image of their city, with sport playing a pivotal role. Why Sport Matters produced the accompanying video that shows more about the city’s amazing journey. The YOG would be a fantastic next step for this dynamic city.
I can remember during my time at the IOC following the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics when it was decided to pursue this idea of creating an event dedicated to young athletes — putting a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange and athlete education. The team at the IOC did an incredible job to turn around and prepare for the inaugural version of the YOG – which took place in Singapore in 2010.
Why Sport Matters was in Singapore, and you can check out our coverage of the event HERE.
The first winter version of the YOG was completed earlier this year in Austria, where Innsbruck 2010 proudly hosted the event. I was a bit disappointed not to see more news in the media from Innsbruck, but I’ve only had very positive feedback from those I have spoken with who were there. Upcoming YOGs will be in Nanjing China in 2014 (Summer), and Lillehammer, Norway in 2016 (Winter).
While the regular Olympic Games continue to be a massive success on the global stage, at the same time it is harder for small to medium size cities to commit the necessary resources to host such a big event. The YOG is turning into an interesting option for this type of city to bring in a truly international event on a smaller scale.
The interest in 2018 YOG is a positive sign that YOG has a bright future and will continue to grow as a major international sport property. The final decision for the 2018 host city will be made by the IOC in July 2013.