Nov 5, 2018
Buenos Aires, (IANS), The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said that the stage is set for the Youth Olympic Games of a new era here.

“We will see here many firsts, not only for the YOG, but for the entire Olympic Movement. We said in Olympic Agenda 2020 that the sport of the future has to go where the people are,” said Bach at a press conference on Thursday after a two-day IOC Executive Board meeting, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Games will feature new sports like breakdancing, sport climbing, roller sports and karate, and many new disciplines and events such as BMX freestyle, kiteboarding, beach handball, futsal and acrobatic gymnastics.

The Youth Olympics will also set a precedent for gender equality with, for the first time in Olympic history, an equal number of male and female athletes among the 4,000 participants competing in 32 sports in total.

The Games, which will run from October 6 to 18, will also showcase a stunning opening ceremony outside of a stadium in a format not seen before. It will instead be staged at the Obelisk monument in the centre of the city.

Competitions will be spread across four parks to ensure the entire city can enjoy the action. Free access to all sporting events and a whole range of additional activities in a festival atmosphere will be offered at these four major clusters, maximising the impact in introducing peaople to sport.

We can not just wait for people to come into a stadium, we must take the Games to the public,” said Bach, a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer.

Over 600,000 people have registered to receive a Youth Olympic Pass, the electronic bracelet that grants access to the events, and almost 80 percent of the population of Buenos Aires are eager to attend the Games, according to a recent survey.

“I’m looking forward to the fascinating opening ceremony in the centre of this great city, which means a lot to me because I came here for the first time as a young athlete in 1973. To see the Youth Olympic Games in this city is an emotional experience for me,” added the president.

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