Earlier today, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) shared the decision, mutually made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Senegal, to postpone the 2022 Dakar Youth Olympic Games (YOG) until 2026.
The 2022 Dakar YOG will notably be the first ever Olympic event to be organized in Africa. Although the date has changed, the location remains. The decision to postpone the YOG comes amidst economic and efficacy concerns caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic:
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 operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis.
In addition, the postponements or cancellations of other major international sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — which are now scheduled for July 23rd through August 8th, 2021, influenced the decision.
According to the press release, the YOG’s postponement was proposed by Senegal President Macky Sall and accepted by IOC President Thomas Bach.
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The additional four years will allow International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to better prepare around the affects of COVID-19. Both Sall and Bach “jointly renewed their confidence” in Dakar 2022 President and IOC Member Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye to ensure that those preparations are made effectively.
Regarding the Athletes
The delay of the 2022 YOG will have to withstand the dismay of the athletes that were planning to compete who will no longer be eligible in 2026.
The IOC and Senegal understand that this news will be disappointing for many young athletes. Both parties can only appeal to their understanding.
The IOC “will continue to offer all IFs and NOC Continental Associations the full content of the educational programs of the YOG” to the benefit of the athletes, as well as maintain organized events that take place in the interim.
“The agreement was approved today by the IOC Executive Board, and will be submitted to the IOC Session for ratification this Friday, 17 July 2020.”
Feature image from Youth Olympics’ Instagram page: @youtholympics