2022 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal postponed to 2026

The next Youth Olympic Games (YOG), a sporting event for athletes aged 15 to 18, will take place in 2026 rather than 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Senegal have announced.

The IOC cited the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021 and “the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis” as reasons for postponing the first Games to be held on the African continent.

Africa will finally have to wait until 2026 to host the first Olympic Games in its history, a joint statement by Senegal, the host country of the next YOG, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said on Wednesday.

“The IOC and Senegal are aware that for many young athletes this news will be disappointing. We can only appeal to their understanding,” said the statement.

This agreement reflects the magnitude of the operational challenges facing the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Federations (IFs) following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The postponement of the Tokyo Games by one year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is one of the main causes invoked by both parties to justify that of the next YOG, initially scheduled from 22 October to 9 November 2022. “The postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, NOCs and IFs to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the subsequent postponement of major international sports competitions as well as the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis,” the statement added.

This postponement would give even more time to Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly, the three cities that are supposed to host this event that takes place every four years and brings together nearly 4,000 athletes from some 30 disciplines. “It allows Senegal to continue its excellent preparations for the Youth Olympic Games,” the statement said.

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