Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Rotterdam 2018 Youth Olympic Bid Finally Gets Dutch Government Guarantees

The Dutch government has agreed to provide financial guarantees for the Rotterdam 2018 Youth Olympic bid under efforts to bring the event to Europe for the first time.

Dutch NOC president Andre Bolhuis tells me: "We now have the guarantees of the government. It [the decision] happened this week and we have sent the guarantees to the executive board of the IOC.

"I am happy about the situation. It's very important to the Netherlands and Rotterdam."

Rotterdam 2018 bid chiefs had submitted their bid book to the IOC in October without the necessary guarantees. Officials told the IOC they had to wait for a new coalition administration to form before talks could begin to secure full governmental support.

Discussions with the new Cabinet including sports minister Edith Schippers over recent weeks finally led to the Dutch government inking an agreement to underwrite the €75 million costs of staging the 2018 Youth Olympics.

Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Guadalajara and Medellin (Colombia) are the other candidates in the bid race.

After two summer Youth Olympics in Asia - Singapore in 2010, Nanjing in 2014 - Bolhuis says: "I hope they will bring it to Europe for the first time."

He adds: "Glasgow is an excellent candidate but Britain had the Olympic Games and now Commonwealth Games."

The IOC Executive Board is expected to cut at least one city from the field at its Feb. 12-13 meeting in Lausanne.

The IOC will elect the host of the 3rd summer Youth Olympics in July.

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