Argentine president predicts ‘great party’ at 2018 Youth Olympics

Buenos Aires, May 7 (IANS) Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has predicted that the 3rd Youth Olympic Games 2018 here will be “a great party” for the South American nation.

In 2018, young people from 207 countries will arrive and “every one of them will return home saying ‘I got to know a marvellous place with unique people’ and this place will be our country,” said the president on Friday, reports Xinhua.

Macri spoke during a ceremony that was held to lay the foundation stone for the Olympic Village in the City Park, in Buenos Aires’ southern Villa Soldati neighborhood.

Buenos Aires will host the Youth Olympic Games, following on from the 2nd edition that was held in Nanjing, China, in 2014.

“Soon (Youth Olympics) 2018 will be here and it will be a great party of Argentina,” predicted the president in his speech alongside the president of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), Gerardo Werthein, and the Mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta.

Macri, who was also head of soccer club Boca Juniors (1995-2007), said the construction works will consist of “recycled materials”, which represents “a commitment to care for the environment.”

Hosting the Youth Olympics is “a great opportunity to tell the world ‘here we are, the Argentinians,'” according to the president.

“This will bring works and it will generate development. Also, the (recycled) sports facilities represent education,” said Macri.

“They (the Games) will promote the values of sport and the Olympic values,” and for that reason “today is a day of celebration for the city,” added the mayor Larreta.

The Olympic Village will house 4,500 young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 in the City Park. The Village will include more than 125,000 square meters of housing, a 70,000 square meters exhibition hall and green spaces.

Buenos Aires will host the Youth Olympic Games from October 1, 2018, for 12 days. The Games was first held in Singapore in 2010.

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