Reporting from Rio de Janeiro – International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said from Rio Thursday that the role of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) has been clarified by his appointed team and he sees future hosts of those Games coming from new regions that haven’t hosted large events before.
“Now we have a clarification of the mission of the Youth Olympic Games,” Bach said from at a press conference in the Olympic Park following the close of the IOC’s all-members session.
“It is clear now to everybody they are not junior or mini Olympic Games, or small Olympic Games. We want to give preference, when it comes to host cities, wherever possible to regions and territories that have not hosted the Olympic Games or other big events.
“For the future I think what’s most important is that we want to use this Youth Olympic Games as an incubator for innovation, in particular with regard to the program, and with regard to the different competition format so that then the Olympic Games can benefit.”
The next Youth Olympic Games are scheduled to be held in Buenos Aires in 2018 followed by the winter edition to occur in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2020. IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 proposed changes to the program that switches the YOG to odd numbered years, so the next site selection will be for the host the the 2023 Summer YOG.
The process to elect the next host will likely begin in 2017.
The YOG were a project developed by former IOC President Jacques Rogge who saw the Games for teens as a way to draw younger people into the Olympic movement and ready them for the major Games. The first YOG were held in Singapore in 2010.
But the Games, also staged in Innsbruck in 2012, Nanjing in 2014 and Lillehammer in 2016, have failed to generate the interest and success that the IOC were looking for – and changes were sought.
Bach also said more work needs to be done.