The International Olympic Committee has officially selected Senegal to host the 2022 youth Olympic games. ‘The fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2022 (YOG) will be held in Dakar, Senegal. The decision was unanimously taken today by a show of hands from the full International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership during the IOC Session in Buenos Aires. This is the first time the Youth Olympic Games will be organised in Africa’ IOC announced on its website.
Four African countries, Botswana, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia, ‘were in the running and, after thorough analysis, the Evaluation Commission and the Executive Board determined that Dakar, Senegal, presented the best value proposition and the greatest opportunities at this moment in time’ the Committee adds.
Dakar 2022 presented a visionary, ambitious and technically sound YOG project that addresses the long-term aims of the country.
Senegal has a large youth population and views the YOG as a catalyst for engaging young people and developing the country’s sport and youth policy.
Significant investments are already being made toward youth and sport as part of the country’s overarching framework “Plan Sénégal émergent”, which sets out the President’s vision to 2035.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: ‘Africa is united behind Senegal to host the Youth Olympic Games 2022. With a young population and a passion for sport, it is time for Africa, it is time for Senegal.’
The competitions and activities will be held across three cities, showing the many facets of Senegal: the historic capital of Dakar; the new city of Diamniadio; and the natural beauty of Saly on the coast.
The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, who made the journey to Buenos Aires for the historic IOC decision said: ‘Senegal and its young people are proud of the honour you have bestowed upon us, in entrusting the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to our country.
‘In fact, it is the whole of Africa, the birthplace of humankind through its history and the youngest continent through its demographics, which will welcome the young athletes of the world in 2022.’
While 51 percent of Africa’s population is made up of youths, poor investment in sport infrastructure and sporting competition has seen the region performing poorly in most previous Olympics. In 2016, however, Quartz remarked that ‘African teams defied all expectations at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, winning a total of 45 medals, making it the continent’s most successful Olympics. The 11 winning countries overcame obstacles that hindered their progress from the beginning, which saw some countries almost getting banned from the Games altogether’.
Considering the unifying power of the Games, the IOC is pleased to count on the four parties, who have all endorsed the decision of the IOC and pledged full support to the selected host.
The decision took place during the 3rd edition of the Youth Olympic Games, currently taking place in Buenos Aires from 6 to 18 October.