(ATR) Sports leaders in Moscow and Singapore say they are stepping up preparations to host the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010 after being named as the two finalists for the IOC vote.
“Moscow has nothing to prove any more,” Alexander Chernov, external affairs director of Moscow 2010, tells Around the Rings.
|The IOC report noted strong government support for Moscow's bid. (Getty Images)
Chernov said the bid team was accelerating its preparations for the summer YOG in anticipation of being chosen to stage the Games.
“We can't afford to lose a month with less than three years preparations,” Chernov said.
“Whoever gets the Youth Olympics will be counting every second because there is not much time.”
Teo Ser Luck, who leads the Singapore bid for the YOG, also notes the need to act quickly.
“We need to plan ahead. If we win, we have to be ready to get into operational mode immediately. We can't take anything lightly and would have to walk the talk,” he says.
“This bid has galvanized many Singaporeans together in support of the bid. If we win, it would definitely leave an Olympic legacy in the youth and sports culture not just in Singapore but the region as well."
Chernov said the bid committee would spend the next month developing the education and culture program, writing the business plan for international sports federations and working on people resource management plans.
Up to 20 more people will be added to the 53-strong bid team in the next month, he confirmed.
“Moscow is capable and nobody has any doubt about that now,” he said.
|Singapore's bid also enjoys strong official support. (ATR)
Teo Ser Luck says he expects interest in the Singapore bid will rise in the coming weeks as the IOC votes.
“There are activities being organized by youths, corporates, sports association and clubs, in their own free will to show support for Singapore's bid in the next few weeks. It is exciting times and experience for everyone especially the youths. Blogs, facebook groups and websites are being set up. There is a sense of excitement,” he tells ATR.
The IOC Executive Board decision on the two finalists was based on an Evaluation Commission report, which can be viewed at this link
The report focused on the risks associated with organizing the Games in the short two-and-a half year timeframe. Athens, Bangkok and Turin were considered too much of a risk and cut from the field.
The commission praised the solid Youth Olympic Games plans of Moscow and Singapore, backed by strong local and national government involvement and guarantees.
Commenting on Moscow, the IOC said the city's existing competition venues, vast experience in hosting large multi-sport events and a serviced Youth Olympic Village, “would allow Moscow to rapidly transition into an organising committee and start working towards the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games”.
The commission's confidence in Moscow's ability to deliver was reinforced by its overall vision from all stakeholders, while it noted “the global digital reach and excellence of Moscow’s culture and education programs”.
Singapore also offers minimal risk to the IOC, according to the report released Monday.
The report highlighted the city's unified vision and the relevance of the Youth Olympic Games project for the long-term strategy of Singapore and South East Asia in general.
The commission also noted that Singapore’s “innovative and dynamic” culture and education programs “demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Youth Olympic Games concept and objectives”.
All IOC members, except those from Russia and Singapore, will cast their votes for either Moscow or Singapore in the coming weeks.
A decision is scheduled to be announced by IOC President Jacques Rogge in a live webcast on Feb. 21.
The IOC says that an independent and certified notary in Lausanne will oversee the process to guarantee confidentiality.
In the event of a tie, the IOC President will have the deciding vote, in consultation with the EB.
The summer Youth Olympic Games are scheduled for August, 2010. The event will feature 3,500 athletes and 875 officials. Athletes aged 14 to 18 will take part in competitions in all sports on the Olympic program. With reporting from Mark Bisson
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