The host city's culture, food, distance and weather can become big tipping points. In fact, Russia had pointed to Singapore's hot, humid weather as a negative factor that can hamper many young athletes' performances. Then, there is the spillover theory, which makes IOC representatives want to pick a city that is near theirs, so that they can enjoy some benefits, such as a boom in tourist arrivals.My heart tells me Singapore will win the right to host the Games but my brain tells me Moscow. It is the first ever Youth Olympic Games and I think most of the Olympic traditionalists would prefer to have a Olympics powerhouse nation like Russia to host the Games. I think if this is the second or third Youth Olympics, Singapore would definitely be chosen. Anyway, we will find out at 7pm tonight.
How the votes swung this way and that in deciding which city should host the 2014 Winter Olympics is one celebrated case study.
In Round One, South Korea's Pyeong-Chang got the most number of votes (36), beating Russia's Sochi (34) and Austria's Salzburg (25). But in Round Two, in a straight fight between Sochi and PyeongChang, a significant number of voters (possibly Europeans) who had earlier voted for Salzburg threw their support behind the Russia city to make it a winner with a score of 51-47.
If such a scenario prevails in the postal voting for the Youth Games, Singapore is likely to get 21 votes from Asian members and five from Oceania countries (Australia, New Zealand and Fiji). And if Europe's IOC members make geography and culture their main preoccupations, then the scorecard will read like this: Singapore 26; Moscow 43.
The remaining 36 votes — 17 from Africa, 14 from North America and five from South America — could make the difference. This is where Russia's political and money muscle would come in to make the difference.
Update: Amazing stuff! Singapore has been chosen as the host for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. I can't believe it. Congrats Singapore! The people over at the Padang now must be celebrating like mad while there must be a lot of shock and sad faces in Moscow after hearing the announcement of the IOC.