Buenos Aires Reveals Plans For 2018 Youth Games

Following the submission of its Candidature File to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games bid committee unveiled Friday its plans to host “a truly culturally dynamic and educationally inspiring Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that will provide the ideal sporting conditions for young athletes to flourish in one of the most exciting, cosmopolitan, youthful and safe capital cities in the world”.

Highlights of the Buenos Aires Concept and Games Plan include a commitment of USD $69 million by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires; a YOG perfectly timed in terms of providing ideal conditions for athletes and fans – September 11 to September 23 2018; two main sports zones for the primary sites of the Games; 26 venues with only two permanent venues to be built, and no temporary venues required, with the majority of venues within a 30-minute drive of the Youth Olympic Village and Olympic Family hotels.

Gerardo Werthein, President of the Argentine National Olympic Committee said, “our bid also symbolizes Argentina’s firm commitment to developing Olympic sport. As one of the founding partners of the IOC, the values of the Olympic Movement are firmly embedded into our culture and we treasure our Olympic heritage deeply. And as the only founding partner not to have hosted the Games, we have been working hard to emphasize our dedication to being an active National Olympic Committee. Our bid for 2018 Youth Olympic Games is an expression of this dedication”.

Mauricio Macri, Mayor of Buenos Aires added, “if Buenos Aires has the honour of hosting the YOG in 2018, the improved sporting facilities in the heart of the city will serve the needs of a community deeply committed to sport for generations to come. By harnessing the passion for sport in the city, youth sport will be the cornerstone of the social, educational and cultural growth of Buenos Aires”.

[Further details of the plan are listed below as they appear in an official Buenos Aires release]

– A commitment of USD 69 million by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires to organise and stage the 3rd summer YOG in 2018. The City Government guarantees that the necessary funding will be available for the YOG with total financial security. The Bid Committee promises that the event will be successfully organised with financial prudence – ensuring only minimal spending would be required to stage the YOG.

– A YOG perfectly timed in terms of providing ideal conditions for athletes and fans – commencing on 11 September and concluding on 23 September 2018. The date for the YOG Opening Ceremony intentionally coincides with National Teachers’ Day and our proposed Games dates also include National Students’ Day on 21 September. Both dates are school holidays and will give young people and the whole community a perfect opportunity to join in the nation-wide festivities of the YOG. On National Students’ Day, students from secondary schools and universities traditionally gather in parks and public spaces to join in the cultural and social activities.

– Two main sports zones for the primary sites of the YOG [the ‘Green Corridor’ – a three kilometre stretch along the banks of the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) that already hosts some of the city’s most distinguished sports venues, and Roca Park, located to the south of Buenos Aires].

– 26 venues are proposed to be used for the Buenos Aires YOG with only two new permanent venues required to be built. No temporary venues are required, ensuring all YOG related investment will leave a permanent lasting legacy and that only minimal additional spending would be required to stage the 2018 YOG.

– In keeping with the bid’s overall concept of the YOG taking place in a green environment, the Youth Olympic Village will be in Roca Park, the second largest park in Buenos Aires. This location is less than 30 minutes away from 19 competition venues in the ‘Green Corridor’.

– The majority of proposed sport venues within 30 minutes drive of Youth Olympic Village and Olympic Family hotels.

– The Opening and Closing Ceremonies to take place at the iconic River Plate Stadium, which has a capacity of 55,000 seats.

– To minimise travel and to ensure maximum convenience, the Main Media Centre [MMC] will be at the Blue Pavilion at the Rural Convention Centre, situated in the ‘Green Corridor’. The Rural Convention Centre will also host eight sports.

– A strategy to ensure full venues: Buenos Aires 2018 will hand out for free 70% of the total number of qualification round tickets and 40% of the final Games team sport competitions. For the remaining tickets, the ceiling price for any competition will be USD 10, while the average price for a Ceremony ticket will be USD 30.

– A promise to fully utilise Buenos Aires and Argentina’s powerful technological assets to engage and enthuse young people in the country and around the world to take part in the global online YOG experience:

o Argentina has a high level of online usage – four hours more per day than the world average

o Among the 15-24 age group in Argentina, the time spent online is over a third above the global average for young people

o Argentina has a strong interest in sports websites with visits to these sites being 20% greater than the world average and growing by 8% per year

o 90% of Argentines who are online use social networking sites

o Argentina ranks number five in the world for Facebook use and number seven for Twitter

– A Culture & Education Programme [CEP] that embraces, honours and promotes the spirit of Olympism, encourages personal skills development, facilitates the interchange and communication among different cultures and promotes the practice of sports and a healthy lifestyle.

– A YOG hosted in one of the safest cities in the western hemisphere – only Toronto, Canada, has a lower rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants – the standard international measure for urban safety