LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Buenos Aires won an IOC vote on Thursday to host the 2018 Youth Olympics, a long-awaited victory after four failed bids to host the Summer Games.
The Argentine capital defeated Medellin, Colombia, by 49 votes to 39 in a second and final round of polling by International Olympic Committee members. Glasgow, Scotland, was eliminated in the first round with just 13 votes, as Buenos Aires got 40 and Medellin 32.
IOC voters rejected a passionate plea by Medellin to use hosting the games to speed reconciliation efforts in a city which was a hub of violent crime and cocaine trafficking in the 1980s. Colombia's state president, Juan Manuel Santos, joined bid leaders in their presentation on stage and suggested the city's revival had been "a miracle."
Buenos Aires first bid for the 1936 Olympics, hosted by Berlin, and made its latest attempt to get the 2004 Olympics, staged in Athens. "Over many years, we have been listening and learning and improving the infrastructure in our city," Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri said in a statement.
Santos was gracious in defeat but acknowledged some disappointment that the hosting honor was denied to a smaller city which could never hope to host a Summer Games — a principle encouraged by the IOC when it created the Youth Olympics.
"We thought we had an advantage in that respect. Apparently that was not enough," he said. The 2018 event will be the third Youth Summer Games since the project was launched by IOC President Jacques Rogge.
Singapore hosted in 2010 and Nanjing, China, will stage the 2014 event.