By Tom Degun

Lord Smith_of_KelvinFebruary 2 - Lord Smith (pictured), chairman of the Glasgow 2014, has backed the city's plan to bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and claimed that hosting the competition would be a superb legacy for the elite facilities being built for the Commonwealth Games.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) revealed earlier this week that it had received a submission from Glasgow to be put forward as a candidate city for the 2018 Youth Olympics should the BOA decide to go ahead with a bid from the UK.

The BOA board will decide whether to go ahead with the bid at their meeting on February 27, ahead of the deadline to submit bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on March 1.

Lord Smith feels that with preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games well on track and on budget, the city will have the sporting infrastructure as well as the skills and expertise in place to host the Youth Olympic Games.

"We are delighted that Glasgow has put itself forward as a possible host for this world-class sports festival for young people," said Smith.

"The city is proving itself to be a very capable and enthusiastic base for major sporting events as it continues to gear up for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"Glasgow can clearly demonstrate its credentials as a world-class sporting city with international-standard facilities (including badminton pictured below), a skilled workforce as well as the passion to stage the Youth Olympic Games.

Glasgow 2014_badminton_venue
"A successful bid by the city will ensure the legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be tangible for many years to come."

It is estimated that the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will attract in the region of 3,600 athletes, aged between 15 and 18, to compete for 12 days for medals in all 28 summer Olympic sports.

So far the only two confirmed bidders for the Games are Buenos Aires in Argentina and Medellín in Colombia but other potential bid cities include Abuja in Nigeria, Monterrey in Mexico, The Hague in Netherlands, Dagestan in Russia and a bid from Sweden from either Gothenburg, Malmö or Stockholm.

The IOC are due produce a short list of candidate cities next January before announcing the winning host city in June 2013.

Scotland's Commonwealth Games and Sports Minister Shona Robison has also given her backing to Glasgow's plan to host the 2018 Youth Olympics.

"Hosting the Youth Olympic Games is an exciting prospect for both Glasgow and Scotland and we welcome the opportunity to work with Glasgow City Council and the British Olympic Association to mount a winning bid that will build on the legacy created by the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games," she said.

"Scotland has an enviable reputation for staging major sporting events and our credentials will be further enhanced by this event.

"Not only will this provide young athletes with the opportunity to compete at the top of their field, it will act as an inspiration for youngsters across the country to get active and develop their interest in sport."

Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said that hosting the event would be a major boost for the city following the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"Our submission for the Youth Olympic Games is a strong one, reinforcing our credentials as hosts of world-class sporting events and underlining our continuing determination to ensure Glasgow has an enduring legacy that will benefit the city for generations to come," he said.

"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will soon show a global audience what we can do in terms of hosting one of the world's biggest celebrations of sport, and winning the right to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games would be another outstanding achievement for the city."

The inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore in 2010 and the 2014 Games will be in Nanjing, China.

The first Winter Youth Games were successfully held in Innsbruck last month, while Lillehammer will host the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.

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