It’s come down to 9 potential cities that will be hosting the first ever Youth Olympic Games (athletes between the ages of 14-18). The potential host cities include Athens, Greece, Bangkok, Thailand, Debrecen, Hungary, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Moscow, Russia, Poznan, Poland, Singapore, Singapore, and Turin, Italy. The host city will be announced November 19th.
What’s interesting about this, however, is that the sports to be chosen for the Youth Olympic Games must be from the stable of 26 sports that are to appear in to 2012 Games in London. Skateboarding is on that potential list, as well as BMX. However, since both sports may be potential sports within the real Olympic Games in London, and of course include athletes within the 14-18-year-old age range, it remains to be seen how this will dilute the real Olympics if the first time these popular sports appear is during the Youth Games and potentially with the same athletes. London’s organizing committee is keen to have skateboarding on board and is pushing hard knowing that it will increase their cred-factor and global audiences. They even have a proposed location in the Olympic Park veladrome.
While of course it’s important to know which city will host said Youth Olympic Games, what may be far more important is first to figure out what sports are going to be in the Youth version. Then, it might make more sense what city to host it in—one with perhaps a history of supporting “youthful” sports.