International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visited Senegal and met with President Macky Sall, examining the preparation work of the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, the IOC has said.
“I would like to thank President Sall for all the support he has been giving to the youth of Senegal, to sport, and to the Olympic Movement,” the IOC president said after the meeting on Saturday. “Thanks to this support, we are very confident in the success of the Youth Olympic Games here in Senegal in four years.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dakar Games that were originally scheduled to be held from October to November 2022, were postponed to 2026 after a mutual decision by Senegal and the IOC. The Senegal tournament will mark the first time that an Olympic event will be held on the African continent.
“We cannot wait for the moment to be back here and to enjoy this first Olympic event on African soil, an event for Africa, with Africa, that will welcome the youth of the world in Senegal,” Bach shared his anticipation of the event, reports Xinhua.
Sall also expressed his gratitude to the IOC and President Bach “for the great cooperation with the Dakar 2026 Organising Committee.”
During his visit to Senegal, Bach planted a symbolic baobab tree on campus of the Diamniadio University, the future Youth Olympic Village in Dakar, in the presence of 100 students and youths from Senegalese sports clubs.
As part of the Olympic Forest project to promote IOC’s climate-positive strategy, around 590,000 native trees will be planted over four years across 90 villages in Mali and Senegal, with the first 70,000 trees having been planted in Senegalese and Malian villages in the Sahel zone.