Source AP ©

Eleven cities ready to host Youth Olympics in 2010

Eleven cities have expressed their willingness to host the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Meeting the Aug. 31 deadline were Algiers, Algeria; Athens, Greece; Bangkok, Thailand; Belgrade, Serbia; Debrecen, Hungary; Guatemala City; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Moscow; Poznan, Poland; Singapore, and Turin, Italy.

The Youth Olympics will feature athletes aged 14-18.

Three of the applicants are former Olympic host cities: Moscow (1980) and Athens (2004)staged the Summer Games, and Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee said Monday the cities have until Oct. 26 to submit detailed plans by replying to an IOC questionnaire.

Olympic experts will then analyze the files before the IOC picks a shortlist of finalist cities on Nov. 12. The IOC will choose the host city by postal vote in February 2008.

The Youth Olympics, the brainchild of IOC president Jacques Rogge, were endorsed by the IOC at its general assembly in Guatemala City in July. The idea is to encourage young people to get involved in sports and spend less time in front of computer and television screens.

About 3,500 athletes are to take part in the games. The IOC wants only existing or planned venues of "moderate" seating capacity to be used in order to hold down costs, which Rogge has estimated at US$30 million (EUR22 million).

The 12-day event will be held sometime between Aug. 6 and Aug. 29 in 2010.

All 26 sports on the 2012 London Olympic program will be contested, but with fewer events and disciplines.

Details still need to be worked out, including whether the games will feature national flags and anthems.

The first Winter Youth Olympics will be held in 2012 for about 1,000 athletes. The host city will be picked in 2009.

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