Georgia prepares for Youth Olympics 2015

Tbilisi will host the 13th European Youth Olympic Festival in July 2015. Photo by EYOF Tbilisi 2015., 06 Aug 2014 - 15:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Representatives of the upcoming Youth Olympic Games have met with Georgian leader and inspected the facilities that will be used in the July 2015 international festival, where more than 4,000 athletes from 49 countries are expected to participate.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visited the Olympic village in Tbilisi and viewed the construction work, which was almost completed.

The Prime Minister said negotiations had been conducted with investment company Hualing Group about the purchase of eight buildings for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in Tbilisi.

"Within the project 17 buildings will be constructed, in which nine will provide accommodation for visitors of the Youth Olympic 2015," Garibashvili said.

The Prime Minister highlighted such a large scale project had never been implemented in Georgia. He emphasized the Olympic Games would bring many tourists to Georgia, and at the same time, would encourage a healthy life for young people.

As well as foreign guests, the event was likely to have economic advantages for Georgia.

Chairman of the Youth Olympic Festival Tbilisi 2015 Organizing Committee Alexi Akhvlediani said the event would bring five times more income to the country.

"It will cost $46 million USD to run the event and by our calculations, we are expecting a return of $212 million USD," Akhvlediani said.

"After the Olympic Games this area, which is the most ecological place in Tbilisi, will become "new Tbilisi”, the new district of the capital," Garibashvili said.

"[The event] will make this place became more attractive. There will be a serious sport base and Olympic standard swimming pool here, which Georgia has never had before," he said.

Tbilisi will host the 13th European Youth Olympic Festival in July 2015.

The EYOF is a biennial multi-sport event for youth athletes from 48 member countries who are part of European Olympic Committees.

The Olympic flame will be lit from Mount Olympus in Greece on May 25 and will enter Georgia one day later after passing through the Georgia-Turkey customs checkpoint in Sarpi, officials said. The Olympic flame will travel across all regions of Georgia before the Games begin in July.

The competition will include nine sports: judo, tennis, artistic gymnastics, cycle racing, track and field athletics, swimming, volleyball, handball and basketball.