With the Opening Ceremony of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) just days away it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the confirmed host cities of the Youth Olympic Games.
The foremost goal of the IOC is to connect with teenagers through the Youth Olympics’ sport, culture and education programs, expanding its demographic reach. However, during the early days of this new idea it also had been communicated that this event would give an opportunity to countries that could not afford to host the Olympic Games.
This latter argument has not been used much anymore in the last years. Not unsurprisingly, looking at the first 4 confirmed host cities. Singapore and Nanjing, China represent two economic powerhouses with the political will and financial depth to organize Youth Olympic Games that do not come second in magnitude in comparison to the Olympic Games.
With Innsbruck and Lillehammer even two former host cities of the Olympic Winter Games have been selected to now host the Winter YOG. As the IOC stipulates that no new venues should be built for the YOG, this is a logical choice considering cost and legacy of venues such as Luge and Ski Jumping.
The question is what this means for cities with aspirations bidding for either YOG or Winter YOG, but that do not have pockets that deep or not enough venue infrastructure. At that moment it seems it is rather the Olympic Games reaching new horizons – geographically speaking – rather than the YOG.