Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games postponed to 2026
The next Summer Youth Olympic Games in Dakar will be celebrated in 2026 after Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) "mutually agreed" to postpone the Games from 2022.
IOC President Thomas Bach made the announcement in a teleconference with journalists following an IOC Executive Board meeting on Wednesday (15 July).
The IOC Executive Board approved the agreement, which was proposed by Senegalese President Macky Sall in a phone call with IOC President Bach, and which will be put to the IOC Session for ratification on Friday.
"This postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, NOCs, and IFs to better plan their activities which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the subsequent postponement of other international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis," President Bach said.
"Senegal and the IOC remain fully committed to the great success of these Youth Olympic Games in Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event ever to be organised in Africa," he added.
Mr Bach acknowledged that "this news will be disappointing for many young athletes," and asked for their understanding.
An IOC statement said: "This agreement results from the large scale of the operational challenges which the IOC, the NOCs and the IFs are facing following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."
The statement added that both leaders "jointly renewed their confidence" in the president of Dakar 2022's organising committee, IOC Member in Senegal Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye.
Postponing the Games to 2026 "allows Senegal to carry on the excellent preparations for the Youth Olympic Games," it said.
Mr Bach said the agreement "illustrates the mutual trust" between the two sides. "I am sure that, together, we will organise fantastic Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 for Senegal, the entire African continent and all the young athletes of the world."
Meanwhile, President Sall of Senegal said: “I would like to reiterate that the IOC has my full support for the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games, postponed to 2026.
"I take this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the Executive Board and welcome the commitment of its teams, working side by side with us, to make Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event in Africa, a successful and memorable occasion."