Nanjing residents hail successful bid to host 2014 Youth Games

19:43, February 11, 2010      

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Hearts of Nanjing residents were captured by joy when the east China's city won bid to host the second Summer Youth Games (YOG) in 2014.

Nanjing, the capital city of eastern China's Jiangsu province and the ninth largest city in China, defeated the Polish city of Poznan 47-42 in a secret ballot held by the International Olympic Committee in Vancouver on Wednesday, bringing the Olympic movement back to China six years after the Beijing Olympics.

Nanjing has just ushered in the first snow in 2010 on Thursday. Although it was freezing outside, nearly a thousand citizens came to the White Horse Park, where a celebration was held for winning the bid. Teenagers, middle and old age sports fans and average residents were waving national flags and the Olympic flags in ecstasy.

"It is the pride of all the people in Nanjing, Jiangsu province and China. We will follow the commitments we have made and make it a successful, friendly and excellent YOG," Ji Jianye, mayor of Nanjing, told Xinhua on Thursday.

"We are ready for the next few years' work and we will give all out to the event organization and the facilities. We will design some cultural activities which will help youngsters from different countries and regions know each other better and provide them with the best access to the Youth Games.

"The successful bid will also increase the popularity and reputation of the city in the world, as well as its international influence. The YOG will promote the city's economic development, improve the urban quality, and provide significant benefits for the people," he added.

The mayor said that Nanjing has a games budget of 117 million U.S. dollars and already has 21 of the required 25 venues, all within 30 minutes of the proposed Olympic Village site.

The volunteer recruitment will open to the piblic soon as the organisers estimated that 10 to 50 thousand volunteers are needed for the Games.

"The Youth Games is a big party for the youngsters but as an adult I would like to make my own contributions to the Games and become a nice host to the world," a 78-year-old Nanjing resident, who participated in the torch relay of the Beijing Games, told Xinhua.

Local youngsters also had their special wish for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

"I expect Nanjing to do better and better, and the 2014 YOG to be as good as the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The whole world will know that there is not only Beijing in China, there is also a city called Nanjing," Liu Jing, a student of Nanjing No.34 Middle School, said in glee.

Nanjing came in as the favorite after an IOC evaluation report last month said the city presented the least risk of the bids.

The Youth Olympics, a creation of IOC president Jacques Rogge, are for athletes aged 14-18.

The inaugural Youth Games will be in Singapore this year from Aug. 14-26. The first winter version will take place in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.

About 3,600 athletes will compete in 26 sports over 12 days in the Summer Youth Olympics. The winter version features 1,000 athletes competing in seven sports over 10 days.

Source: Xinhua
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