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Dakar 2026: The Dawn of the African Olympic Dream

Dakar 2026: Youth Olympic Games

As the world looks forward to Paris 2024, it’s important to remember that the Olympic spirit will continue its journey to Dakar 2026, where Senegal will have the honor of becoming the first African country to host the Olympic Games. The Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) promise to be a landmark event, showcasing the rich culture and athletic talent of the African continent.

A New Era for the Youth Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is evolving its approach to the Youth Olympic Games program to better adapt to local contexts and needs. Dakar 2026 will be the first edition of the YOG to benefit from this revised approach. This strategic decision was taken by the IOC Executive Board, which approved a new sports program proposed by the IOC Olympic Program Commission.

A Diverse and Exciting Sports Program

The Dakar 2026 YOG will feature an array of sports that highlight both traditional and emerging athletic disciplines. The approved sports include:

  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Karate
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Shooting
  • Sport Climbing
  • Surfing
  • Tennis
  • Weightlifting

In addition to these, a comprehensive range of sports will be part of the program:

  • Aquatics
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Skateboarding
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Wushu

This diverse lineup ensures that Dakar 2026 will not only celebrate traditional Olympic sports but also embrace newer, dynamic disciplines that resonate with young athletes worldwide.

Anticipation and Preparation

The exact schedule of events and the athlete quota for each sport will be finalized during one of the IOC Executive Board meetings later this year. This meticulous planning is crucial to ensure that the games run smoothly and that each sport receives the attention and resources it deserves.

Significance for Africa and the World

Dakar 2026 is more than just a sporting event; it is a symbol of progress and hope for the African continent. Hosting the YOG will shine a spotlight on Senegal and Africa, providing a platform to showcase its capabilities and potential on the global stage. It is an opportunity for the world to witness the passion, resilience, and talent of African athletes.

The Youth Olympic Games are designed to inspire and engage young people through sport, promoting values of excellence, friendship, and respect. Dakar 2026 will carry forward this mission, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration among the youth of the world.


As we eagerly await the excitement of Paris 2024, let us also look forward to the groundbreaking event that Dakar 2026 will be. This historic occasion will mark a significant milestone in the Olympic movement, bringing the spirit of the games to Africa for the very first time. The journey to Dakar 2026 is not just about celebrating youth and sport; it is about embracing a future where the Olympic dream is truly global, inclusive, and transformative.

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