Fireworks during the Opening Ceremony ©IOC
Last night, the third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) kicked off with a colourful Opening Ceremony in the city centre of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Until 18 October, 4,000 young athletes aged between 15 and 18 from more than 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will participate in 239 events in 32 sports and 36 disciplines. For the first time in Olympic history, the number of female and male athletes competing will be the same. Four sports are making their debuts on the Olympic stage: roller sports, dance sport, karate and sport climbing. New disciplines and events are also joining the programme such as kiteboarding, beach handball, BMX freestyle and acrobatic gymnastics.
Other additions to the Games programme in 2020 have been an integral part of the YOG for much longer, highlighting that the event is a good platform to test new concepts. Basketball 3x3, for instance, is a signature innovation from the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, and has been added to the programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In Argentina, 3x3 will join sport climbing, BMX freestyle and skateboarding (as an exhibition event) at an Urban Park cluster format that will be replicated two years from now in Japan.
Mixed gender events have also been included since the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and have earned a place in the Tokyo 2020 sports programme through the triathlon relay, mixed team judo, mixed team shooting, mixed team archery and mixed team fencing.
Fans across the globe can watch the YOG 24/7 on the Olympic Channel and YouTube. The round-the-clock streaming channel features both live and tape-delayed event coverage and daily highlights shows. Learn more here.
Given the important role of International Federations in preparing and delivering the competitions, ASOIF has been part of the Coordination Commission for the 2018 YOG. At the event, the IFs will be responsible for the control and direction of their sports. As part of this they have responsibility for overseeing all technical aspects, including the “Field of Play” and the application of the rules. They also provide the experts needed for the running of the competitions, such as the Technical Delegates and judges. In addition, the IFs will also be involved in delivering educational programmes for their athletes. During a so-called IF Focus Day, each IF will conduct a specific workshop of activity that is enriching for their athletes’ development, addressing topics such as prevention of competition manipulation, community work etc.
Competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 will be spread across four parks to ensure the entire city can enjoy the action. Free access to all sporting events and a whole range of additional activities in a festival atmosphere will be offered at these four major clusters, maximising the impact in introducing people to sport. Opportunities to try new sports and activities for free at locations across the city will be available to the public; and 200,000 school children will experience the YOG.
Also in terms of infrastructure , the YOG are expected to leave an important sporting legacy to the city: the Youth Olympic Park will become a new a world-class high-performance sports centre and the YOG will represent the largest purchase of high-quality sports equipment in Argentinian history.