SEBASTIAN Coe will stress Glasgow’s ability to nurture the “fragile flower” of the Youth Olympic Games when he presents the city’s bid to the International Olympic Committee today.
Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association, said the media coverage and the certainty that Glasgow can offer for the 2018 Youth Games will be an important message to deliver ahead of today’s vote in Lausanne.
IOC observers put Glasgow behind Buenos Aires in the contest, with Medellin in Colombia also bidding. The observers’ view is that after the London Olympics and the Scottish city hosting next year’s Commonwealth Games, some members may feel the UK has had its share of major multi-sport events.
Coe will tackle that issue head on in his presentation, and with highly-visible protests having taken place recently in 2016 host city Rio de Janeiro and 2020 bidding city Istanbul, the IOC may relish the low-risk nature of going to Glasgow.
Coe said: “An important message is that the Youth Olympic Games is a fragile flower, this will only be its third edition, and it needs to be nurtured, to flourish and grow. Glasgow can create that certainty and the connectivity around it particularly with the media coverage that can help us pack a punch compared to the other things happening in sport at that time.
“We can make sure that it is in a position to be a strong enough entity to take around the globe.”
Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s most successful Olympian in terms of gold medals, is also a member of Glasgow’s bid team and will be resplendent in a tartan kilt in Lausanne.
He will emphasise the friendly Scottish welcome – and the fact the facilities built for the Commonwealth Games means no sporting venues would need to be constructed for 2018.
Hoy said: “We want to show the IOC we would put on a fantastic and friendly Games welcoming the whole world. We would be a very compact Games close to city centre, and the only thing we would need to build is the athletes’ village.”
The Glasgow bid team has three “young champions” as part of its bid party: 17-year-old triple jumper Mahad Ahmed; Jasmine Main, an 18-year-old drama student from Carntyne in the east end of Glasgow; Elizabeth Pollard, a 15-year-old pupil at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow who came to Scotland from Guyana when she was eight and is a sprinter and basketball player and a Commonwealth Games Young Ambassador.
The vote will involve all IOC members at an extraordinary session in Lausanne, and 89 members are expected to attend.