Senegal named first African country to host Olympic competition

Yahoo Sports
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stands next to a Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games logo after signing the contract for the 2022 candidacy with Senegal at the 133rd IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 8, 2018. Natacha Pisarenko/Pool via REUTERS
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stands next to a Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games logo after signing the contract for the 2022 candidacy with Senegal at the 133rd IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 8, 2018. Natacha Pisarenko/Pool via REUTERS

For the first time ever, an Olympic competition will take place in Africa.

In February, the International Olympic Committee announced that the 2022 Youth Olympic Games would be in Africa.

On Monday, before the start of the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics, Senegal was confirmed as the host, beating out Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia.

“It is time for Africa,” IOC President Thomas Bach said last month after the IOC Executive Board recommended Senegal over the other three bids. “Africa is a continent of youth.”

No African country has ever hosted an Olympic Games. Cape Town, South Africa put in a bid to host the 2004 Summer Games, but ultimately ended up third in the final vote besides host Athens and Rome.

The 2020 Youth Games, the fourth edition of the games, will take place over three cities: Senegal’s capital Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly.

Part of the country’s bid included a $150 million budget, a 50,000 seat Olympic stadium, a rail link and an athletes village.

IOC members from other African countries said that although Senegal will host the games, the rest of the continent will help as well, comparing the efforts to South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup.

“In Africa, when a family organizes a party all the neighbors chip in and they help organizing the event,” said Lydia Nsekera of Burundi, who is an IOC member and also sits on FIFA’s ruling council. “It doesn’t matter, everyone will be there to help (Senegal) President Macky Sall organize and stage these games.”

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