In 100 days, the best youth athletes (age 15-18) in the world will descend on Buenos Aires for the third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, taking place Oct. 6 through 18.
After two successful Summer Games thus far in Asia — Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing, China, in 2014 — the Games come to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time this fall. But Buenos Aires is no stranger to hosting international sporting events. The city has hosted the final of the FIFA World Cup, two basketball and men’s volleyball world championships, as well as the first Pan American Games in 1951. Buenos Aires has also thrice bid to host the Olympic Games, in 1956, 1968 and 2004.
But beyond sports, everything that Buenos Aires has to offer will be on display during the Games. Here are five fun facts about the unique and vibrant Argentinian capital:
1. It Is One Of The Most Diverse Cities In The Americas
With a city population of 2.8 million, and more than 12 million people in the greater area, Buenos Aires is home to people from many different ethnic backgrounds. Over the last 150 years, immigration has brought people from all over the world, primarily from the Americas and Europe. This is reflected in the Buenos Aires cityscape that contains many different architectural styles and influences.
2. It Is Well-Read
Buenos Aires has the highest number of bookshops per capita in the world at 25 per 100,000 people, or more than 700 in total, according to the World Cities Culture Forum. The city also has more than two dozen newspapers, some of which are in foreign languages.
3. There Is Green Space Galore
Buenos Aires is a city that loves its parks. There are more than 250 of all kinds, including the largest Japanese garden in the world. The city structured its Youth Olympics plan around having four parks to encourage people to gather like they would normally. Admission to the parks is free, allowing everyone to take in the spirit of the Games.
4. It Is Crazy For Soccer
Buenos Aires has more soccer stadiums than any other city. One of its most famous, El Monumental, hosted the final of the 1978 FIFA World Cup that the host won. Soccer won’t be on the Youth Olympic program this year, as futsal will be taking its place. But still expect Argentina to make a run at the title, as its national futsal team is ranked No. 4 in the world.
5. It’s Easy To Get Around
Buenos Aires has the oldest rail system in Latin America, with the first line opening in 1913. Since then, it has grown into one of the world’s largest and is second in the Americas only to the metro system of New York City. All four Olympic parks will be accessible by the city’s transportation network.