Hobart To Refocus on a Youth Olympic Games Bid

A group in Hobart, the capital of the island state Tasmania in Australia, say they plan to bid for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.

The Hobart Organising Group for Major Events (HOGME) has been behind a campaign to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. But even as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has started to accept applications for those Games with a September 1 deadline, the city with just over 200,000 residents has failed to receive the necessary endorsement from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

“Obviously our campaign to bring the Olympics to Hobart in 2020 faced some challenges,” admitted HOGME President Ben Waterworth.

“We now hope that by campaigning for the Youth Olympics it creates an even more realistic hope of bringing the greatest show on earth to our great city.

“Through various meetings with politicians as well as people involved within Olympic bids it has become apparent that there is as much support in bidding for a Youth Olympics as there is for a full Olympics and with the much smaller scale of a YOG it is something that is a lot more achievable in a shorter amount of time.”

But the bid will still face an uphill battle.

Singapore, a city with 5 million people hosted the inaugural event in 2010, and the 2014 Youth Summer Games are scheduled for Nanjing, China with over 8 million inhabitants. While the IOC has positioned the Youth Olympics for cities that may not be able to support a full-scale Olympic Games, there still needs to be adequate infrastructure in place because the IOC also frowns upon Youth Olympic plans that include large construction projects.

And the bid still needs approval from the AOC.

“[The AOC] are aware of our interest in getting the support for the YOG bid,” Waterworth told GamesBids.com.

“With the relevant government support that I believe will eventually come, I definitely think they will look at our proposal with more confidence than the 2020 bid and we are confident of gaining their eventual support.”

Waterworth believes the timing for these Games is supported by the geo-politics.“As for 2018 [Youth Games], we definitely looked into bidding for them but believe we have a better shot at 2022.

Waterworth explained that the first two Youth Summer Games will have been held in the Asia/Pacific region and the IOC will likely look elsewhere for the next instalment. He is also concerned that a Gold Coast victory in the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid will cause potential conflicts for funding and organization if Hobart’s bid was for the same year.

“It also would be better for funding from Federal Governments down the track and having a major International event in Australia in 2022 after missing out on the World Cup.”

Australia lost its bid for the 2022 World Cup after Qatar was elected in a controversial vote.

Hobart’s colourful and active campaign for the 2020 Olympics generated local excitement through rallies, design competitions and a Facebook page with over 12,000 followers. However, the bid was not taken too seriously elsewhere, especially without any official support.

But with time on its side, HOGME now has a new lease to try to generate the same enthusiasm and make it official with the AOC.

You can visit the bid online at http://www.hobart2022.org