The International Olympic Committee (IOC) proposed targeting an African nation to host the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games, which would mark the first IOC-hosted Games held in the continent.
Botswana, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have emerged as the interested hosts, the IOC revealed Thursday. The bidding process has been simplified, revamped and improved over the last several months, something the IOC has focused on as part of bringing the Games to Africa. The ultimate goal is to determine the best host candidate in a shorter and more cost-effective process for the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
“It’s time for Africa. Africa is the home of so very many successful Olympic athletes. It is also the continent of youth. This is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa,” IOC President Thomas Bach said last month. “This is why the IOC will proactively approach a number of African NOCs to evaluate the feasibility of bringing the YOG to Africa.”
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Next up is the NOC Dialogue Phase, in which the feasibility of each nation will be studied. At the end of that process in July, the IOC Executive Board will determine which of the NOCs will be invited to the Candidature Phase.
The IOC Evaluation Commission, announced in April, will then guide the selection process. The commission is led by IOC Vice President Prof. Ugur Erdener of Turkey and includes Zimbabwe’sseven-time Olympic medalist swimmer Kirsty Coventry. They will make a report in September, and then the host of the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2022 will be officially announced in October at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, prior to the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.