IOC Picks Senegal as First African Host of Youth Olympics in 2022

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 10: Slindokuhle Mabanga during the heats session on day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 10 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA
Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

The International Olympic Committee has picked its first African host of the Youth Olympics, in fact any Olympics, formally awarding the 2022 Youth Games to Senegal, The Associated Press reported.

Senegal President Macky Sall oversaw a meeting Monday to see IOC members confirm the executive board’s preference from four candidates, The AP reported.

Senegal will host the youth games in three places: Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly.

Sall said a 50,000-seat Olympic Stadium will be built for the government-backed project.

The event budget is estimated at $150 million, the IOC executive director of Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi, said at a news conference.

Senegal’s games are likely to take place in late May of 2022. This would be at the end of the dry season to “greatly reduce the prevalence of tropical diseases,” IOC vice president Ugur Erdener told the membership.

Erdener pointed to Senegal’s “booming economy” and better conditions than the other bidders from Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia.

One IOC member from Burundi said the whole continent would share the responsibility of its first Olympics, comparing it to soccer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“In Africa, when a family organizes a party all the neighbors chip in and they help organizing the event,” said Lydia Nsekera of Burundi, who also sits on FIFA’s ruling council, responding to a fellow IOC member’s question about Senegal’s economic indicators. “It doesn’t matter, everyone will be there to help President Macky Sall organize and stage these games.”

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