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Bringing An Olympic Event To Africa For First Time, Senegal Elected Host For 2022 Youth Games

By Chrös McDougall | Oct. 08, 2018, 12:24 p.m. (ET)

An aerial view of the city of Dakar taken on Dec. 19, 2010 in Dakar, Senegal.


An Olympic competition will be held in Africa for the first time when the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games take place in Senegal, the International Olympic Committee announced on Monday.

The Games will be based in three cities: the capital Dakar, Diamniadio and the coastal resort of Saly.

No African nation has hosted and Olympic Games or Olympic Winter Games, though some have made bids. In recent years, Cape Town, South Africa, reached the final vote for the 2004 Games but ended up third behind Rome and eventual host Athens. Prior to that, the last African bid to reach that stage was Alexandria, Egypt, in 1936.

The decision was a longtime coming. At the IOC Session in February, the body unanimously agreed to stage the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Africa. Last month, the IOC Executive Board recommended Senegal over competing bids from Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia.

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That recommendation was formalized on Monday during the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the current edition of the Youth Olympic Games is underway through Oct. 18.

“It is time for Africa,” IOC President Thomas Bach said after last month’s recommendation. “Africa is a continent of youth.”

The Buenos Aires Games, which began on Saturday, are the third summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games. The third Winter Youth Olympic Games are scheduled for 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is home to the IOC and other international sports governing bodies.

Founded in 2010 by then IOC President Jacques Rogge, the Youth Olympic Games bring together athletes ages 14 to 18 in an Olympic-like, multi-sport event with an emphasis on instilling Olympic values through aspects such as cultural exchange and mixed-nation events.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.