GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, July 5. ONE day after awarding the 2014 Winter Olympics to Sochi, Russia, a city on the Black Sea, the International Olympic Committee announced Thursday that it was initiating a Youth Olympics. The first Youth Olympiad is scheduled for 2010 and will be designed for 3,500 athletes between the ages of 14-18.
The IOC decided to develop a Youth Olympics as a way to attract more involvement in sports among youngsters, who have shown a penchant in recent years for being glued to the television or playing video games. The site for the 2010 edition of the event, which will be a Summer Games, will be announced in February. The first Winter Games at the youth level will be held in 2012, with the site set to be picked in January 2009. The Winter Youth Olympics will draw about 1,000 athletes.
Jacques Rogge, the head of the IOC, indicated the first Youth Olympics will cost approximately $30 million for the summer and $15 million for the winter. There has been discussion that athletes will compete as individuals, rather than as a national delegation. However, several members of the IOC stressed the importance of having national affiliations in order to draw interest from the media.