Glasgow 2018 unveils highlights of visionary Youth Olympic Games concept

The Glasgow 2018 Bid Team today unveiled key highlights of their Bid to host the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) which reveals for the first time the compelling strengths of a visionary concept.

The Executive Summary of the Candidature File and Photographic File revealed:

  • A compact, sustainable and innovative venue concept
  • The way in which young people have been at the heart of the Bid from the beginning providing a solid foundation for an ambitious vision of youth engagement on a global scale
  • An outstanding Youth Olympic Village built to inspire young athletes and transform a community
  • Unparalleled experience and proven expertise in hosting international events.

The Executive Summary was released at the Tollcross International Aquatics Centre, the latest product of Glasgow's £300 million investment in sports infrastructure nearing completion.

Young members of the City of Glasgow Swim Team (COGST) were present at the launch along with the Scottish Government Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson, and British Olympic Association (BOA) board member and Olympic Gold medallist hurdler David Hemery. COGST run a development programme recognised for swimming excellence and now has more than 300 members. They have helped develop some of the UK's top swimmers including London 2012 Silver medallist Michael Jamieson.

Tollcross will stage the swimming event at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and is the proposed venue for the YOG swimming, diving and modern pentathlon events in 2018.

The world-class venue typifies the guiding principles of the Glasgow 2018 venue plan which is to use existing or planned facilities that offers ideal conditions for elite performance and performs a vital role in the local community.

In total, 15 of the 17 venues proposed in Glasgow 2018's plan are either already in operation with many regularly hosting international events, or scheduled for completion before the end of 2013 regardless of the Bid outcome. Glasgow City Council last week approved plans for a permanent extension at Tollcross which would provide space for a diving pool and is a legacy opportunity arising out of preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

The Bid Team also revealed today that 85% of those venues are 20 minutes or less travel time from the Youth Olympic Village, as well as details of a vibrant, welcoming and inspiring Village for the world's elite young athletes.

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 this summer's Games.

Seb Coe, Chairman of the BOA and of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said the Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee would be ready to hit the ground running: "London 2012 has inspired a generation, and legacy does not happen by itself. Glasgow 2018 could be a crucial next step on that journey for the UK with the Olympic Movement - a way of amplifying and accelerating the impact of a Games that was totally focused on young people.

"The Youth Olympic Games is a fresh, exciting young product. By entrusting it to Glasgow 2018 the Olympic Family will have a historic opportunity to draw on the unprecedented pool of sophisticated event-hosting expertise and global youth engagement programmes in the UK right now. We delivered our promises and we achieved our goals at London 2012, and we're ready to continue that partnership with the Olympic Family in Glasgow in 2018 - another sports city in our sporting nation."

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, emphasised the positive impact the city's investment in sport is already having on its young people and local communities.

He said: "Glasgow is ready to continue the Olympic journey by hosting what would be the pinnacle of our achievements, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

"We have invested in the sporting and cultural infrastructure over recent years in order to be capable of hosting world-class events. These not only put Glasgow on the world map but create jobs and opportunities for Glaswegians and crucially encourage our young people to lead healthier and more active lifestyles."

Speaking at the launch event, Shona Robison, Scotland's Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: "Warmth and hospitality alongside an excellent reputation for hosting world class sport events, makes Glasgow, and Scotland, the perfect stage for the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

"Young athletes competing at the top of their field rightly expect the very best facilities and support services. Building on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and the forthcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games, Scotland stands ready to be an exciting, dynamic host of the Youth Olympic Games."

The Summary also highlighted Glasgow and the UK's wealth of event hosting experience. In the last five years alone, there have been more than 120 World and European status events in the UK, and Glasgow is now ranked 9th in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City table.

Hugh Robertson, the UK's Minister for Sport, said: "It would be a fantastic legacy from London 2012 to see Glasgow host the 2018 Youth Olympics Games. It is a city rich with sporting pedigree and has the experience of hosting big, successful sporting events."

Paul Bush, Director of the Bid Team, discussed the ways in Glasgow 2018 aims to amplify and accelerate the legacy of London 2012, at home and across the Olympic Movement. He said: "Glasgow 2018's team of local and international experts has drawn on experience, insight and best practices from LOCOG and the 2014 Commonwealth Games. That has helped us to produce an offering for the Olympic Family that is robust and low-risk, but also innovative and truly visionary.

With this Executive Summary, we have tried to highlight the ways in which a Youth Olympic Games in Glasgow would amplify and accelerate the legacies from London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, and sustain the invaluable impact these major events have had on the lives of young people in the UK and across the Olympic Movement."

Background

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international sporting event for the best young athletes in the world that aims to inspire young people to participate in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values. Young athletes (15-18 years of age) compete in all 28 Olympic sports over 12 days of world-class competition.

Glasgow became the UK's Candidate City for the 2018 YOG in February 2012. The first summer YOG was held in Singapore in 2010. It broadcast to 160 territories with an estimated audience of more than 247m. The event attracted seven million viewers to the IOC YouTube channel (the 3rd most watched in the world). Organisers also recruited 20,000 volunteers.

The Great Britain team won 13 medals in Singapore (5 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze). Tom Daley and Taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones, both took part.

The Games follow the traditional four year cycle with the next summer event being held in Nanjing, China, in 2014. The first winter YOG was held this year in Innsbruck, Austria, and the next will be in 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.

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