After a bidding competition between Senegal, Tunisia, Botswana and Nigeria, the French-speaking west African country has been selected to host the next Youth Olympics, reports Al Jazeera. In February, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that the 2022 edition should actively target an African nation to host the fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games.
The 2022 games will be held in Senegal’s bustling capital city of Dakar, the new city of Diamniadio, and the coastal resort of Saly, the IOC says. This makes Senegal the first African nation to host an Olympic event.
“It is time for Africa. Africa is the home of many successful and prominent Olympic athletes,” said Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympics Committee (IOC), in a press release. “Africa is a continent of youth. That is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa and to Senegal.”
The IOC voted unanimously during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to grant hosting duties to an African nation. The committee says they chose Senegal because the country “offers a strong project and the greatest opportunities at this moment in time.”
The recommendation is a formality to be approved by International Olympic Committee members when they meet this October during the IOC’s meeting from 8th to 9th, ahead of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After Senegal officials sign a host contract in Buenos Aires, they will begin a “co-construction phase with the IOC,” the Olympic body says.
The first Youth Olympics were held in Singapore in 2010, followed by Nanjing, China, in 2014 and Buenos Aires next month. The Youth Winter Olympics debuted in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012, followed by Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016 and Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020.
Senegal owns one Olympic medal, a 400m hurdles silver from the 1988 Seoul Games earned by Amadou Dia Ba.