The 2022 Youth Olympic Games set to take place in Dakar, Senegal have been postponed to 2026, IOC President Thomas Bach announced Wednesday. The 2026 games will now be the fourth edition of the summer event, and the first Olympic event ever hosted in Africa.
“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, by the subsequent postponements of major international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis,” the IOC Executive Board wrote in an announcement.
“At the same time, it allows Senegal to carry on the excellent preparations for the Youth Olympic Games. The two leaders, who praised the progress made so far, have jointly renewed their confidence in Dakar 2022 President Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, IOC Member in Senegal, and both remain fully committed to the great success of these Youth Olympic Games, the first Olympic event ever to be organised in Africa.”
The first edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games took place in Singapore in 2010. In 2014, it took place in Nanjing, China, and in 2018, the event was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gangwon, South Korea is currently slated to host the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The Youth Olympic features athletes aged 14-18 — with a four year postponement, . In 2018, nearly 4,000 attendees competed in 33 different sports, including swimming and diving.
Andrei Minakov (Russia), Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia) and Kristóf Milak (Hungary) dominated the men’s podium in swimming in 2018. On the women’s side, Hungary’s Ajna Késely was a three-time gold medalist.