IOC Seeks African City To Host Youth Olympic Games in 2022

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board Sunday announced that it will endeavor to site the next Youth Olympic Games in Africa in 2022.

IOC President Thomas Bach addresses media after PyeongChang Executive Board meeting (IOC Photo)

At the conclusion of the Executive Board meeting held in PyeongChang ahead of the Olympic Winter Games, a statement revealed the intention of the IOC to proactively seek and secure an African city to play host to quadrennial event which would mark the first time any Olympic Games competition would be held on the continent.  It is hoped the host city would be elected in Buenos Aires in October, just ahead of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Argentina.

The new direction will need to be ratified by the overall IOC Session later this week.

If approved, “the IOC will proactively contact a number of African National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to evaluate the feasibility of this approach,” an IOC statement said.

The proposal also seeks to return the year of the Games back to the original even-year rotation.  The inaugural Games were held in Singapore in 2010 followed by Nanjing in 2014.  But the intent was to shift the year to an odd-year rotation beginning in 2023.  There was no explanation given as to why the odd-year format, first introduced by Olympic Agenda 2020, would be abandoned.

Lausanne is set to host the next Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020.

The Youth Olympics were a project launched by former IOC President Jacques Rogge with the intention of cultivating young talent and testing new sports that appeal to youth.  Since the first Games, several youth Olympian have gone on to join the primary Olympic Games.

But with failed marketing efforts and the lack of a general appeal for the Games, the IOC had struggled to define the concept overall.  That changed at the 2016 IOC Session in Rio.

“Now we have a clarification of the mission of the Youth Olympic Games,” Bach said from at a press conference in the Olympic Park following the close of the Session.

“It is clear now to everybody they are not junior or mini Olympic Games, or small Olympic Games.  We want to give preference, when it comes to host cities, wherever possible to regions and territories that have not hosted the Olympic Games or other big events.

The PyeongChang Games open February 9 and run until February 25.

GamesBids.com will be reporting from PyeongChang beginning next week.  Follow us @gamesbids on Twitter or on Facebook for updates

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-nominated journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil

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