Argentina’s Youth Olympics budget ‘reduced by 40%’

The 2018 Youth Olympics originally had a US$200 million budget. (AFP pic)

BUENOS AIRES: The budget for the 2018 Youth Olympics has been “reduced by 40%” from its initial cost of US$200 million (RM830 million), International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said on Saturday, just hours before the opening ceremony.

“The IOC was presented with a budget of US$200 million (RM830 million) for these Youth Olympics but the latest information is that the budget will be 40% less,” said Bach who did not elaborate on where the savings will be made.

Argentina is in the midst of an economic crisis but Bach insisted that the South American country should not be discouraged from bidding to host the Olympics despite failed attempts for 1956, 1960, 1968, and 2004.

“After these Youth Olympics, they will be in a better position to organise the Olympics,” added Bach.

“At the same time, we are aware that Argentina is living through some difficult moments.”

With Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 edition, a number of countries have expressed an interest in the 2032 showpiece including Indonesia, India, and a joint North/South Korea bid.

“This gives Argentina and the Argentinians some time to study the question,” said Bach.

“But Argentina is a sports-loving country with a big sporting culture. I have no doubt they would be able to organise the Games.”