October 06, 2014

Argentina is considering bidding for future Olympics, including offering the Patagonia region as a potential host of the Winter Games.

With Buenos Aires set to host the Summer Youth Olympics in 2018, Argentine officials believe that IOC reforms could enhance the country's chances of securing the full-fledged games.

''We are starting to consider the possibility of bidding for a future edition of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games,'' the national Olympic committee said in a statement over the weekend. ''The Winter Olympic Games are also an option in our beautiful Patagonia.''

The Patagonia region, shared by Argentina and Chile, comprises the Andes mountains.

While Rio de Janeiro will host South America's first Summer Olympics in 2016, the Winter Games have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hosting the games in Patagonia would require a shift of the traditional Olympic calendar. The southern hemisphere winter runs from June to September.

The world Alpine ski championships were held in Portillo, Chile, in 1966. The event took place in August.

Argentina's statement came just days after Oslo became the fourth city to pull out of the race for the 2022 Winter Games, leaving just Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, as candidates.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is proposing a series of reforms that, among other things, would make the bidding process more flexible. The package, called ''Olympic Agenda 2020,'' will be voted on at a special meeting in December in Monaco.

''We believe that the steps being taken to refresh the Olympic sports program and the games through Agenda 2020 provide a great platform for the future,'' the Argentine statement said.

Buenos Aires bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics but finished fifth and last in the 1997 vote won by Athens.

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