Moscow Confident Of Beating Singapore In Bid To Host Youth Olympic Games

The 1980 Summer Olympic Games, 1998 World Youth Games and the 2002 International Sports Youth Games. Indeed, Moscow’s resume of hosting big sports events is an impressive one.

And the men behind Moscow’s bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010 are confident they will win the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) nod over Singapore.

“I want the YOG to be awarded to Moscow,” Alexander Chernov, external affairs director of the city’s 2010 bid committee, told TODAY.

“Singapore’s a great city and I love and have a lot of respect for the country,” he said, adding that he has been here six times, including the IOC Session in 2005, when London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympiad.

“Singapore can host the second Youth Olympics (in 2014) ῅ we want the special honour of organising the first edition.”

On Monday, the IOC named the Russian capital and Singapore in its final shortlist of candidates vying to host the 2010 YOG, which will see 3,200 athletes aged between 14 and 18 competing in 26 sports.

The IOC members (excluding representatives from Russia and Singapore) will cast their votes by post over the next month and the winner will be announced by its president, Jacques Rogge, on Feb 21.

While Singapore is hoping the IOC will favour a smaller city that would otherwise never host an Olympiad, Chernov is hopeful that the 110 voters will go with what’s tried and tested.

“Experience is our number one strength,” said the Russian. “We hosted the World Youth Games in 1998, with young athletes from 135 countries coming to Moscow.

“Our city’s infrastructure for sports is solid. We have up to 30 sports events annually and have hosted international sports events such as the Volleyball European Championship (2007) and Athletics World Indoor Championship (2006).

“Experience is very important and with less than two years to put it together, Moscow already have a team of professionals in place to do a good job.”

In its report issued two days ago, the IOC’s six-member Evaluation Commission felt that Singapore and Moscow would present the least risk to the IOC in organising the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The two cities emerged tops in governance and guarantees, finance, the Youth Olympic Village, competition venues and transport.

Singapore may lack the experience in hosting a multi-sport event in the magnitude of the Olympics, but local swimming legend Ang Peng Siong is confident the Republic will do well against the Russian capital.

“Moscow has held the 1980 Olympic Games and other major sporting events, so they have more experience,” said the two-time Olympian (1984, 1988).

“But as the IOC is trying to promote youth sports, I feel that Singapore, being a young country, will stand a better chance,” said the 45-year-old.

Added sailor Koh Seng Leong, who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics: “The Russians have the experience, but it would be good for the IOC to try something new. And I’m sure we have the capability and manpower to do an equally good job.”

Chernov agreed.

“Singapore has put together one of the best bids,” he said.

“It usually takes more than two to three years to put together such a good bid, and Singapore did so in such a short time.

“The fact that your country does not have a track record in organising such a big international sports event makes it even more impressive.

“With cities like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Turin having the means and facilities, it’s an achievement for Singapore to make it to the final two.” –

Channel News Asia

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