Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 in numbers: facts and figures

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The fourth Summer Youth Olympic Games, Dakar 2026, were born out of the desire of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to take the Games all over the world and to “put the Games at the heart of Africa’s transformation “.

As Dakar prepares to host Africa’s first Olympic Games, here are some facts and figures about the multi-sport event for young athletes aged 15-18.

Dakar 2026: a first for Africa

The Dakar 2026 will mark the first time that an Olympic sporting event will be held on the African continent. Dakar was confirmed as the host of the Youth Olympic Games during the 133rd IOC Session in 2018.

The West African nation was chosen ahead of Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia.

The event was originally scheduled for 2022, but following the 2020 global health crisis, Senegal and the IOC agreed to postpone the Summer Youth Olympics to 2026.

Full gender equality at Dakar 2026

Dakar 2026 will mark the first time that there will be an equal number of male and female athletes at the Olympics, and equal representation in each sport as well.

Of the 239 Dakar events, there will be 11 mixed team events, 114 men’s events and 114 women’s events. The only gender-restricted competitions will be women’s rhythmic gymnastics individual and group events; these will be balanced by the two additional men’s apparatus in artistic gymnastics.

There will still be 108 athletes in each gender category across the two gymnastics disciplines, the first time the sport has achieved gender parity at the Games.

Boxing and wrestling will also pass this milestone in Dakar.

The new sports at Dakar 2026

There will be 28 sports on the Dakar 2022 program, to which will be added seven additional sports offered by the Dakar 2026 (baseball5, breaking, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and wushu). This means that all sports from Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 will be included in the Dakar 2026 program

In addition, wrestling will welcome the new discipline of beach wrestling to sit alongside freestyle. The canoe-kayak events will run like beach events in the Atlantic Ocean, while for the first time modern pentathlon swimming will run like a open water race.

Read more: Senegalese surf champion Cherif Fall chasing Paris 2024

Dakar 2026: Venues

The Games will take place at different venues in three host sites: the capital Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly on the coast.

Dakar

  • Iba Mar Diop Complex (Iba Mar Diop Stadium);
  • Samba Diéry Diallo Barracks;
  • Tour de l’Œuf complex (Olympic swimming pool);
  • National Wrestling Arena;
  • Vivier Almadies beach.

Diamniadio

  • Diamniado Olympic Stadium;
  • Dakar Arena;
  • Dakar Exhibition Center;
  • CICAD;
  • Francophone Tennis Academy

saly

  • Saly Beach, East;
  • Saly Beach, West;
  • Golf of Saly.

Dakar 2026: A lasting legacy for Africa and Senegalese youth

Dakar 2026 hopes to encourage young people to get active with a celebration of sport and culture to be launched in October and November 2022, when the YOG 2022 was originally scheduled before it was postponed.

The Dakar in Games The festival aims not only to promote the Youth Olympic Games, but also to “encourage young people to get involved”. The festival will be held every year until 2026, with sports activities and competitions, concerts and cultural celebrations.

The local organizing committee will also organize a new education program focused on the Olympic values ​​which aims to reach up to 900,000 children in 11,000 schools by 2026. Students aged 9 to 15 throughout Senegal will have the opportunity to attend classes, with participants also having the opportunity to volunteer at the YOG.

There is also Olympic Skills for Kids initiative to promote the education and engagement of young people through sport, with the national project giving children aged 6-18 the chance to try a range of different sports.

All of these activities are in line with the Youth Olympic Games mission of learning important skills, connecting to other cultures and celebrating the Olympic values ​​of excellence, friendship and respect.

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