The 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games also known as the III Youth Olympiad is an international multi-sport event for the younger athletes to compete in a format similar manner to that of the Olympic Games. The 2018 Youth Olympics is being held at the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires from 6-18 October 2018. The Youth Olympic Games feature cultural exchange programs and opportunities to meet for the participants to meet Olympic athletes.
It is the first Summer Youth Olympics to be held outside of Asia and the first Youth Games to be held outside of Eurasia. Over 3998 athletes from 206 countries are expected to participate in the event.
The event is hosted by the International Olympics Committee (IOC), the same body that holds the Olympic Games. The idea was conceived all the way back in 1998 by the Austrian Johann Rosenzopf. However, it was only conceptualized by the IOC in 2007.
The event was conceptualized in order to tackle obesity in childhood and the drop in participation of the youth in sports. It was also expected to increase the participation in the Olympic Games in future years.
Despite the positive implications, the IOC’s initial reaction was negative and didn’t want the Games to be a purely sports event. Only upon the introduction of the Cultural and Educational Program (CEP) did the IOC acquiesce to the formation of the World Youth Games.
It is a successor to the discontinued World Youth Games.
The first Youth Olympic Games was held on August 2010 in Singapore. A total of 201 events were held across 26 sports in the inaugural edition of the YOG.
The motto of the 2018 YOG is “Feel the future” or “Vivi el futuro” in Spanish, which was unveiled on 8th April 2018. The emblem was however presented three years before in July 2015 and represents the cultural diversity of Buenos Aires, its heritage, colours and iconic architecture.
The mascot is a young Yaguarete named “Pandi” which is a close relative of the Jaguar and is a native of South America. The name “Pandi” comes from its scientific name Panthera onca and its merge with the “digital world”.
The Games will be held across a 15 km stretch known as the Green Corridor (previously known as the Olympic Corridor) which was built for the 2004 Olympic Games. The venues to be used in the Games are mentioned below:-
1). Green Park
2). Olympic Park
3). Urban Park
4). Techno Park
5). Stand Alone locations in San Isidro, Hurlingham and Vicente Lopez
A total of 166 countries will participate in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. South Sudan and Kosovo will be featuring for the first time in the YOG.
The 2018 Youth olympic Games will have 241 events in 32 sports, which is 19 more than the previous edition, 2014 Nanjing Youth Games. The number of sports also increases from 28 to 32.