By Duncan Mackay in Innsbruck

Gerardo Werthein_in_front_of_AOC_logoJanuary 14 - Buenos Aires today officially informed International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge here that it was launching a bid for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games. 

Gerardo Werthein (pictured), President of the Argentine Olympic Committee and a member of the IOC, handed a letter to Rogge here at the Winter Youth Olympics Games, which opened last night, confirming the bid that they had announced last August.

"I am happy to confirm that Buenos Aires will bid to host the third Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018," said Werthein.

"We believe that Buenos Aires would be an excellent Host City for this exciting new addition to the Olympic sports calendar.

"We stand ready to be the IOC's perfect partner for this special event and look forward to formally signing the YOG Candidature documents in March.

"Our aim is help spread the positive values of Olympism amongst young people in Argentina, South America and across the world."

Mauricio Macri, Mayor of Buenos Aires, has also written to Rogge confirming his full support for the bid.

"For us it would be an immense privilege to welcome the youth of the world to our city in 2018," he said.

"Buenos Aires is one of the world´s most exciting and hospitable cities, with first class infrastructure and a true passion for sport.

"We believe we have a lot to offer as a city and as a bid and we are proud to give our full and absolute support to the National Olympic Committee."

As a sign of how seriously the Argentinian capital is taking its bid to follow Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014 as hosts it has appointed Mike Lee's Vero Communications to promote the campaign.

Mike Lee_in_Rio_tieVero, the company set up by Lee (pictured) after he had been the communciations director during London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, has previously worked with Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang as well as Qatar's controversial campaign to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"We are delighted that Mike Lee and Vero will be working with us," said Werthein.

"Mike and his team have a great track-record and have been at the heart of several successful Olympic and sporting campaigns.

"It is a great start to our bid."

Interested cities have until March 1 to inform the IOC about whether they plan to bid.

A decision is due in June 2013.

The 2018 campaign to host the 2018 Youth Olympics is set to be the most competitive in the short history of the event with Abuja, Glasgow, The Hague, Kaspiysk, Medellín and Monterrey all having announced that they may bid.

But Lee is confident of Buenos Aires' chances.

"Buenos Aires is a vibrant international city with a fantastic sporting and cultural pedigree that would provide an inspiring platform to deliver a memorable Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018," he said.

"We are honoured to be working with Gerardo and the Mayor on this very exciting project."

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