Dakar 2022 Youth Games deferred to 2026

The 2022 Youth Olympic Games have been postponed. Hosts Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar from 2022 to 2026.

Senegal president Macky Sall had proposed to defer the Games. IOC President Thomas Bach, following in-depth discussions on the matter, has given his nod to defer the Games. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances, stated an IOC Press release.

The postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, the national Olympic committees (NOCs) and the international federations (IFs) to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The amended Tokyo 2020 schedule had resulted in the subsequent postponement of major international sports events. The COVID-19 global health crises have also had operational and financial consequences.

Postponement of the Youth Games will allow Senegal to carry on the excellent preparations.

Sall and Bach, who praised the progress made so far, have jointly renewed their confidence in Dakar 2022 President Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, IOC Member in Senegal. The two leaders remain fully committed to the great success of these Youth Olympic Games, the first Olympic event ever to be organised in Africa.

“The IOC and Senegal understand that this news will be disappointing for many young athletes. Both parties can only appeal to their understanding. This agreement results from the large scale of the operational challenges which the IOC, the NOCs and the IFs are facing following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With this in mind, the IOC will continue to offer all IFs and NOC Continental Associations the full content of the educational programmes of the Youth Olympic Games,” stated the Press note.

“This will allow for the objectives of this very important and much-appreciated component of the YOG to be maintained through the many events organised between now and 2026, in particular during the Continental Youth Games.”

“This amicable agreement illustrates the mutual trust between Senegal and the IOC. I would like to express my sincere thanks to President Macky Sall, a great friend and supporter of the Olympic Movement, for this exceptional relationship of trust and quality. For all these reasons, I am sure that, together, we will organise fantastic Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 for Senegal, the entire African continent and all the young athletes of the world,” said Bach.

“I would like to reiterate that the IOC has my full support for the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games, postponed to 2026. I take this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the Executive Board and welcome the commitment of its teams, working side by side with us, to make Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event in Africa, a successful and memorable occasion”, added Sall.

The agreement was approved today (Wednesday) by the IOC Executive Board, and will be submitted to the IOC Session for ratification this Friday, 17 July 2020.

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