IOC chief commends Buenos Aires on progress for Youth Olympic Games

Indo Asian News Service

Buenos Aires, April 28 (IANS) The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach toured the construction site for the Olympic Village for the Youth Olympic Games to be held here from October 6-18, 2018 and congratulated the organisers for the "great progress" they have made.

"It's very impressive to see the great progress of this Olympic Village. I want to congratulate all those responsible for this project. Not only is it a project for young athletes, it's a great project for Buenos Aires residents for the city's future," said Bach at a press conference on Thursday.

The IOC chief was accompanied by the capital's mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and the president of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) Gerardo Werthein.

"These Games will be Games of innovation ... for the Youth Games ... but also for the city of Buenos Aires," Bach added.

The Olympic Village, located in the southern part of the city, will have 1,200 structures of one, two and three rooms and, according to official figures, they "are 45 percent completed."

The city government and the COA have said on several occasions that the ultimate objective is for the capital to be the site for the 2032 Olympics.

"I think that these Youth Games can be a big early step for a candidacy for the 2032 Olympic Games. These games provide the opportunity to show what Argentina is capable of doing," said Bach.

"I think it's a very good long-term strategy, not only for the Youth Games but also for the Rugby World Cup and other events. It's the logical way (to prepare for) a candidacy for 2032," he added.

Buenos Aires has already presented itself as a candidate to host the world basketball tourney, along with Uruguay, in 2023, and the World Rugby tourney in 2027.

In addition, Argentina and Uruguay have expressed interest in organising the football World Cup in 2030.

About 4,000 athletes aged 15-18, from 206 countries, will participate in 31 sports during the Youth Olympic Games here.