|Juan Camilo Quintero - CEO, Medellin 2018 Youth Olympic Games|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 21 June 2013 15:45
Juan Camilo Quintero Medina leads the 2018 Medellín Youth Olympic Games bid. He was born in the city and is 38 years old. He is a business administrator with an emphasis on agriculture. He specialises in formulation and evaluation of public and private projects, international business and strategic foresight.
He created the Antójate de Antioquia programme and which experienced great success in business formalisation in Antioquia, formalizing over 1,000 companies. He led the first exhibition of mining projects in Colombia with more than $100 million dollars in foreign and domestic investment while he promoted the first reforestation exhibition in Colombia. Within a year and a half he managed to get a non-profit institution (Tecnnova) to give surplus and thus position itself as the country's largest company in its field.
In 2010 he was listed as one of the 100 most successful managers of Colombia by Poder magazine, and has served on over 20 corporate and institutional boards.
As CEO of Medellin 2018, what are your main duties?
As the CEO of Medellin 2018, my main duty is to ensure that the bid develops efficient processes within the established concept of the Olympic Charter, accepting and embracing the rules and regulations of the IOC, ensuring that all local, regional and national populations understand the dimension and the positive impact that the YOG Games can have in Medellin. As a young leader of this process, and having lived through Medellin’s dark years, I set the challenge to contribute to the transformation of my city.
The decision for the YOG will be made next month. What are you doing before that date to promote your bid and make sure the IOC select you?
The IOC doesn’t allow us to advertise or do any international promotion so the bid is focused on the preparation of the final presentation and the video production. We are also leading promotional activities to spread the Olympic spirit and values to all of Colombia.
The city has had past problems with drugs and gang violence. What has been done over the past 20-25 years to change this view?
Let me tell you that violence is a subject of the past. Medellin has gone through an incredible metamorphosis in recent years thanks to investments in education, culture and sports. We have brought the best to the poorest, and we have implemented innovative security strategies, that altogether, have greatly contributed to improving safety. During the 80’s Medellin was ranked the most violent city in the world but today we don’t make the list of the top 20. The YOG in 2018 comes as a great opportunity for us to show the world the new Medellin, to confirm the metamorphosis of the city and above all to show the youth the meaning of sport in their lives.
How would you describe Medellin to people who have never been before, who may be put off by the past reputation?
Medellin is located in a valley, it has an ideal spring climate all year long of between 24-26ºC. It is a green city with lots of nature and very friendly and entrepreneurial people. The city is known for its sport venues, very unique in the region for being environmentally friendly and accessible to everyone. An average of one million people practice sports in the city every month.
Our people are enthusiastic and thrilled about having the entire world get to experience first hand the transformation, we also want to leave behind the violence and drug images of the past. We dream about the opportunity to get to show the world what Medellin really is.
It is a very young city as well with 25% of the population under 18.
Medellin is also known to be the entrepreneurial capital of Colombia. We are home to the most powerful economic conglomerates of the country.
A recent IOC report applauded your progress in regenerating urban areas and introducing innovative safety measures. Can you explain what has been done and what safety measures will be taken?
On urban development, we have made major investments in the poorest neighbourhoods, we have made urban renovations, building public libraries, day-care centres, 57 Sport Schools Centres to learn to play 37 different sport disciplines for free. The city provides public transport and schools of the highest quality for the poorest people of the city.
We have also increased the number of police in the city, we implemented a technological monitoring centre that displays the most critical areas of the city, also we implemented a plan called ‘quadrants’, where police control specific zones and they are more easily and swiftly accessible by the population. On top of this we have developed a mobile phone app for people to contact the closest police stations for better emergency control and we have implemented surveillance cameras becoming the city with the most cameras in Colombia. These are some of the security strategies implemented. These investments in security and urban development have resulted in a major reduction of crime in the city.