The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today shortlisted Glasgow in the race to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), praising the city’s record of hosting international sporting events including the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The 2018 YOG Working Group report stated that Glasgow’s Bid would also build on the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games creating a powerful and impactful YOG, appealing to athletes and young people across the globe, while representing minimal risk to the IOC.
At a press conference at the IOC’s Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, President Jacques Rogge announced Glasgow would join two other cities on the shortlist for the next stage of the process which will see IOC members vote for the winning Candidate City in July.
More than 100 young people gathered in Central Station, the city’s main rail terminal, for a contemporary dance flashmob to celebrate the news, calling on the UK public to back the Bid to bring the 2018 YOG to Glasgow. The celebration event reflected the passion for sport the Olympic family can expect if the Games come to Glasgow.
The report from the YOG Working Group, headed by German Olympic silver medallist and world champion fencer, Claudia Bokel, said Glasgow’s Bid was built on good use of existing venues and experience of hosting international multi-sport creating a double legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It added that Glasgow’s budget was consistent with the programme being proposed for the YOG with guarantees provided by the Bid Team being described as “clear and good quality.”
Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Medellin (Colombia) were shortlisted along with Glasgow and the three cities will now go forward to be assessed by the IOC Evaluation Commission in April before the final IOC vote in July.
Young people from Glasgow and across the UK celebrated on hearing the news Glasgow had successfully made it to the next stage. Olympic athletes and politicians also hailed the decision and pledged to continue to work to win the vote in July.
Glasgow 2018’s robust venue plan and proven event-hosting capacity are the solid foundations of an ambitious legacy vision: to empower young people worldwide to be champions in their own lives.
The Bid Team, a strong partnership between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the BOA, has pledged to continue the journey started by London 2012 for the UK and the Olympic Movement and seize a historic opportunity for a guaranteed legacy from last summer’s Games.
Sir Craig Reedie, Vice President of the IOC, said: “This is a proud moment for me as a Scot and a Glaswegian. To have my home city shortlisted is a tremendous honour.
“With London 2012 our vision and our promise was to inspire a generation. What a unique opportunity we now have with a city that has both the facilities and the expertise to concentrate on the vision of the Youth Olympic Games and to give back to the youth of the world. From day one we promise to work in partnership with the Olympic family to reach out to young people across the globe."
Seb Coe, Chairman of the BOA, said: “It is an honour to have Glasgow shortlisted to host the YOG in 2018. London 2012 inspired young people like never before and there is now a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the UK to take the next step on the Olympic journey to empower young people globally.
“Glasgow cannot only stage a compact, sustainable and financially sound Youth Olympic Games, but take a unique journey in history hand in hand with the Olympic Movement fuelled by the passion and warmth of Scotland. A Youth Olympic Games in Glasgow would empower young people worldwide to believe they can be champions in their lives and, at the same time, inspire the world to support them.”
Britain’s most successful female rower and London 2012 gold medallist, Katherine Grainger, said: “For many young athletes the Youth Olympic Games will be the first step towards competing at the very highest level and it is fantastic to think that they may be taking those steps in Glasgow.
“The city has a proven track record of delivering major international sporting events in world-class facilities in front of passionate crowds – something that any young athlete would respond to. At the same time Glasgow has shown a very real commitment to developing sport at all levels, particularly for young people, making the city the perfect host city for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, and Director of the Bid Team, said: I am extremely pleased that we have made it through to the next stage of this very competitive Olympic race. The hard work continues to show the Olympic Movement that we have a visionary Bid which can seize a unique opportunity to secure guaranteed legacy from last summer’s Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow.
“I would like to pay particular tribute to all the young people who have worked so hard at the heart of this Bid from the beginning and who have embraced it as their own. They should take immense pride in their achievements and use this journey as the catalyst for further success for the Bid, themselves and for their city and country.”
Shona Robison, Scotland’s Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “Having the opportunity to host the Youth Olympic Games is hugely exciting for Scotland. Glasgow 2018 will put the aspirations and talents of young people at the centre of the Games, and my congratulations go to the young people at the heart of the Bid.
“Being shortlisted by the IOC is a great honour that cements Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for world class sporting events. We look forward to further contact with the IOC as they continue to assess our bid ahead of the final vote in July.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is extremely proud to have been granted the privilege of being shortlisted by the IOC. We will continue to work hard to show how this city can be a valuable partner of the Olympic Movement to better the lives of young people both here and across the globe.
“Glasgow’s commitment to its young people is unwavering as we continue the journey to transform our city and its economy and so create opportunities that can help our young people to become champions in their own lives.”
Hugh Robertson, the UK’s Minister for Sport, said: "I am delighted that the IOC has shortlisted Glasgow to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Our commitment from hosting London 2012 was to inspire a generation and that is exactly what the Youth Olympic Games is about. The people of Scotland would give a warm welcome to the youth of the world. I wish the bid team the very best of luck in the run up to the IOC vote in July."
Around 19,600 secondary school pupils have already backed Glasgow’s Bid, and of the campaign’s 36,000 Facebook followers, 70 per cent are under the age of 24. Young people from across the UK have backed the Bid, enthused by the prospect of Glasgow winning the right to hold the event, which would involve around 3,600 young athletes between 15 and 18 years. Please visit www.glasgow2018.com to register your support.