GLASGOW is in the running to host a second major sporting extravaganza - just four years after the Commonwealth Games.
Scotland’s largest city has made a three-strong shortlist to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and Medellin, in Colombia, will be its rivals to follow in the footsteps of Nanjing, in China, which will be hosting the competition next year.
Glasgow launched an ambitious bid to bring around the 36000 athletes who compete in the event to Scotland back in September 2011.
It believes it has a “compelling” case to act as host due to the fact that 15 of the 17 venues needed will be in place by the end of this year.
If successful, it would play host to 12 days of action in 28 sports, involving competitors aged 15-18 years of age. A final decision will be made by the organising committee in July of this year.
A successful bid, which would cost up to £234 million, according to the Glasgow team, would be split 70/30 between the Scottish Government and the city council. The Glasgow bid already has the backing of the British Olympic Committee and the UK Government.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is fantastic news for Glasgow and a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s ability to host major sporting events.
“Young people are an important part of the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and I hope that competing for the bid will open their eyes to the possibility of sport and inspire the next generation of Olympic heroes.”
Seb Coe, chairman of the BOA, said: “It is an honour to have Glasgow shortlisted.
“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.”
Glasgow, which will host the Commonwealth Games from 24 July-to 3 August next year, was chosen to represent the UK in the bidding process for the Youth Olympics just over a year ago.
The previous games, in Singapore three years ago, were said to have been seen by more than 247 million TV viewers and deployed some 20,000 volunteers.
The Glasgow bid was said to have won praise from the organisers for its attempt to build on the legacy of the London Olympics last year and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as a series of “clear and good quality” guarantees about the staging of the event in the city.
The Glasgow bid document cites the number of major sporting events which are coming up in the next few years, including international cycling, netball, gymnastics and swimming competitions.
It states: “Organising a global event such as the Youth Olympics is a significant undertaking and requires that all key agencies, venues and key logistical services necessary are either in place or planned for.
“Glasgow has all the requisite guarantees in place needed to make sure that the partnership delivers and spectacular games in 2018.
Venue guarantees and agreements are already in place, with Glasgow being in the enviable position of not needing to building a single venue for the sole purpose of the games thanks to the £300 million investment in sporting infastructure made by the city in recent years.”
Paul Bush, director of the bid team, said: I’m extremely pleased 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 Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow.”
Olympic gold-winning rower Katherine Grainger, one of Scotland’s heroes at the London games, said: “For many young athletes the Youth Olympics 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.