IOC says many countries interested in hosting Youth Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Director Gilbert Felli on Saturday said 17 or 18 countries had expressed their interest in hosting future Youth Olympic Games, DPA repored.
Amongst them was an African and a Latin American country as well as some cities in the United States, he said.
"There is interest in different places," said Felli, but he would not name the countries or cities.
The Austrian city of Innsbruck will be hosting the first winter Youth Olympics in 2012, while the next summer games are set to be held in Nanjing, China, in 2014.
Felli said he was "very, very happy" with the current inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore, which reached the midway mark Saturday and are set to run through August 26.
"The organization is going well and the sport competitions are going well," he said, adding that "the spread of the medals is big" with athletes from 60 nations decorated so far.
Although some media provided a medal table based on a nation's performance, the IOC would not introduce such a ranking, said Felli as Olympics were a competition between athletes, not countries.
"We don't do it at the Olympic Games either," said the Swiss. "The IOC never did it before and we're not going to change that."
Felli praised the concept of the Youth Olympics, which feature 3,600 athletes aged 14 to 18 competing in 26 sports and also participating in a wide-ranging education programme.
"We really want to do something for the youth," said Felli. "We don't want to do mini-Olympic Games."