DAKAR, February 1, 2020 – On Saturday, January 25, 2020, an appointment was made at the “Place de la Nation”, an emblematic place in downtown Dakar that hosts all major events, to start the countdown to the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympics. At midnight that day there were 1000 days left before Senegal hosts its first Olympic event ever.
To mark the date, the organizing committee invited all components of the sports family, representatives of the State, the mayor of the city of Dakar as well as the ambassadors of the United States, Spain and Japan to come and participate. Also, in order to attract the Senegalese populace around the big event, a musical show, featuring some of the great names of Senegalese music, was offered to them.
During the launch of the countdown, Dakar displayed some of its cultural facets with the “Signares” parade (women dressed in traditional costumes reminiscent of the affirmation of cultural identity during the colonial period in areas such as Gorée Island and Saint Louis). Dakar thus gave a foretaste of what the world of Olympism will be entitled to for its first in Africa. Indeed, having been designated by the IOC at its 133rd session in Buenos Aires on 2018 to host the Summer Youth Olympic Games of 2022, Senegal is the first African country to host an Olympic competition. This represents an honor for the country, which intends to do everything possible to succeed in the organization of this world event.
According to the president of the Senegal NOC Mr Diagna Ndiaye, Senegal did not wait until 1000 days before the event to start its preparation. “The teams are in place, the coordination is going on well with the IOC… So I have good hope,” said the president of the Dakar 2022 Organizing Committee.
His confidence is strengthened by the achievements, particularly in terms of infrastructure in three sites planned to host the games: Dakar Diamniadio and Saly. It should be noted that Senegal based its bid on the existing facilities,which will be renovated and adapted as necessary. However, an Olympic stadium of 50,000 seats will be built and construction will start on February 20, 2020.
Since 2010, the YOG has been bringing together athletes aged 15 to 18 every four years around an educational and cultural sports celebration based on the Olympic values. 35 sports disciplines are on the programme of the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games scheduled for October 22nd to November 9th, 2022, which will bring together nearly 4,000 athletes representing more than 200 countries