Paul Bush. (Glasgow 2018)
(ATR) The head of Glasgow 2018 tells Around the Rings
that winning the Youth Olympic Games can help further legacy aims of the London Olympics.
“It’s the opportunity for the U.K. to work with the IOC and participate in the next step of that Olympic journey and really empower young people globally,” bid director Paul Bush told ATR
“That is something that has never been done before.”
Glasgow 2018 aims to continue the work of International Inspiration, the London Olympics initiative that reached 12 million children and young people across the globe.
Bush described the YOG 2018 shortlist chosen by the IOC two weeks ago, which also features Buenos Aires and Medellin, as “an extremely strong line-up”.
“We haven’t won anything yet,” he added. “We need to work very hard between now and 13 March on the technical evaluation to demonstrate the strong bid that Glasgow has”.
The three cities are tasked with responding to IOC questions about some aspects of their bid dossiers that still require further explanation or clarification.
“We are very confident we have a strong offering, not only to the IOC and NOCs but also the youth of the world,” he added.
Glasgow 2018 is building on the preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and its proven event-hosting capacity. It has virtually all YOG venues in place thanks to investment of almost $454 million in sporting infrastructure in the city.
“There are huge economies around skills, experience, people and volunteering,” he added.
Youngsters help deliver the bid file to Lausanne. (Glasgow 2018)
Work to develop Glasgow’s culture and education program is a key part of the bid effort in the coming weeks.
“For athletes, it will be one of the greatest experiences of their lives,” he said of the overall YOG event.
One of Glasgow’s strengths, he said, was that young people were “at the heart of the bid”, being involved in every phase. Youngsters launched the bid last summer and also took the bid file to the IOC in Lausanne in January.
The ‘Be a Champion in Your Life’ campaign has engaged the young people of Scotland in sport and the bid – around 65,000 have signed up to back the bid. Interaction with youngsters through social media networks, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, is also raising the bid’s profile.
“It is absolutely critical, that’s the way young people communicate,” Bush said of the use of social media.
After the March 13 milestone, Glasgow 2018 has an April 10 video conference date with the IOC’s YOG evaluation panel.
Up to 10 bid officials and ambassadors will be involved in the 15-minute presentation and Q&A.
Glasgow's new Emirates Arena and Chris Hoy Velodrome opened in October. (Getty Images)
Bush is keen to emphasize that Glasgow 2018 must deliver a pitch-perfect presentation. He recognizes that the IOC report to the Executive Board could recommend that one of the three cities be dropped, leaving just two for the IOC vote on July 4.
Asked how confident he was in the Glasgow 2018 dream, he said: “You have got to be in it to win it. We are one of three candidates. We have a lot of work to do over the next few months to continue to demonstrate to the IOC we are worthy to host the Games.”
Reported by Mark Bisson
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