IOC chief Bach arrives amid talk of Youth Olympics bid

Although the bidding process is likely to start in the early part of 2020, New Delhi - with the CWG (2010) infrastructure in place - is likely to make the cut.

Nanjing (China) hosted the Youth Olympics in 2014.   -  AFP

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is likely to express its willingness to host the 2026 Youth Olympic Games when International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach arrives here for a two-day visit starting on Wednesday.

Sources in the know revealed that the government is not averse to the idea as the cost of hosting a Youth Olympics would be much less compared to a full-fledged Olympic Games.

Although the bidding process is likely to start in the early part of 2020, New Delhi - with the CWG (2010) infrastructure in place - is likely to make the cut.

"Since the cost of hosting a Youth Olympics is to be shared with the IOC, the government is likely to agree to India hosting it in the near future,” an IOA official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The number of athletes to take part in a Youth Olympics is fixed at around 3,500, and their travel expenses - along with their coaches - are borne by the IOC.

The first edition of the Youth Olympics, held in Singapore in 2010, cost approximately USD 400 million. Nanjing (China) hosted the event in 2014 while Buenos Aires will be home to the marquee event in October this year.

IOA president Narinder Batra, following his election in December last year, had said he would take a proposal to the government to host the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games and 2026 Commonwealth Games.

“The IOA would certainly convey our readiness to host big-ticket multi-discipline events in India and would like to discuss how we can effectively work towards achieving IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 strategy,” Batra had said last month while announcing Bach’s visit to the country.

The IOC had introduced Youth Olympic Games in order to expand its reach to areas where the Summer or Winter Olympics are not held. The apex committee is pushing hard to take the event to Africa - it is yet to host the Olympics - in 2022.

Bach will meet the newly elected IOA office bearers, several Olympic medallists and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Olympic Council of Asia president and chief of the influential Association of National Olympic Committees, Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah, will accompany Bach.

The IOC chief is currently in Bangkok where he is attending the Sports Accord Summit.