Youth Olympic Games: Preparing for Dakar 2022

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Olympic Rings. Photo credit: IOC/Christophe Moratal
Representatives of the International Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission visited Dakar for the first time since Senegal was awarded the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games just over a year ago.

During a three-day visit, the IOC and the Dakar 2022 team reviewed all aspects of the preparations. Highlights included the presentation by a dedicated working group of the thinking behind their vision, mission and goals, as well as an ambitious legacy plan to ensure that the Youth Olympic Games will benefit the city, the country and the entire African continent long after the event is over.

In line with the Senegalese government's "Plan Sénégal Émergent", Dakar 2022 aims not only to put Senegal on the world map for international sporting events, but also to showcase the best of Africa, paving the way for future initiatives on the continent.

Detailed planning is progressing well as part of the co-construction of the plan for the 2022 edition. This new way of working is inspired by the Olympic Agenda 2020 and the new standard adopted by the IOC. It involves the local team working in close partnership with the IOC teams to draw up a common roadmap up to the actual Games period, developing several concepts for the configuration and operation of the selected venues while drawing on the knowledge and systems inherited from the previous YOG.

The coordination committee was particularly impressed by the level of anticipation and detail adopted so far in the planning of each project task.

Two of the three competition zones were inspected, namely downtown Dakar and the futuristic Diamniadio district, which will host almost a third of the sports on the program, as well as the Youth Olympic Village, which will be converted into university residences afterwards. Earthworks have already been completed and construction is well underway. Several YOG events will also be held in the town of Saly.

With sustainability at the heart of the project, including the use of as many existing facilities as possible, the IOC praised the quality of the proposed sites and the detailed planning put in place for certain renovation projects, which will enable an exciting, youth-oriented sports program to be delivered in an urban environment. The organizers of Dakar 2022 also emphasized their intention to rely heavily on public transport and railroads for the movement of all participants.