1 year to Buenos Aires 2018
6 October 2017
BUENOS AIRES 2018: The setting up of the Olympic rings at the downtown obelisk of the Argentine capital city marked the beginning of the final countdown for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, a multi-sports celebration that will gather almost 4000 elite athletes from 206 countries on October 6-18 next year.
The sculpture of the Olympic symbol was unveiled during a ceremony led by the Mayor of Buenos Aire, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the president of Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, Gerardo Werthein, and the president of the Coordination Commision for Buenos Aires 2018 from the International Olympic Committee, Li Lingwei.
"It is a dream that is coming true," said Rodríguez Larreta.
"The fact that our country can organize a Youth Olympic Games is a huge responsibility. It is also a unique opportunity to demonstrate what we are capable of.
"We are very proud that Argentina receives almost 4000 athletes, their family and their companions. We will be the center of attention of the world during those two weeks," he added.
On August 6 next year, the Obelisk will also be part of the opening ceremony of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, that will be the first of its kind to be held outdoors.
Following the idea of making the Games inclusive, the 32 disciplines included in Buenos Aires 2018 sports program will be distributed between four parks around the city: the Youth Olympic Park (in the south), the Green Park (on the north), the Urban Park (on the east) and Tecnópolis Park (on the west).
“This proyect for Argentina is something we have been waiting for over 50 years, for the Games to be in our country,” stated Werthein during the ceremony, that counted with the presence of the Rio 2016 gold medal winners Santiago Lange and Pedro Ibarra.
“This will be very organized, sustainable, without white elephants Olympic Games. Each venue that has been built has an owner and a purpose. That will be the legacy,” he added.
On behalf of the IOC, Lingwei, one of the best badminton players in history, underscored that “in 365 days Buenos Aires will be ready to open its doors to the world and showcase the very best of Argentina.
"Athletes and sports fans will experience not only fantastic competitions but a festival of sport and culture spread across four parks throughout Buenos Aires.”
"It has been a journey by young people and for young people. A big thank you goes to the tremendous efforts of the talented organising committee who have reached every corner of the city with the many projects to bring sport to the people of Buenos Aires,” she added.
Buenos Aires 2018 will also feature for the first time in history the same number of male and female athletes.
The 3998 athletes that will compete in 241 events are also to take part in educational and cultural activities during the Games.
At the same time, spectators will be able to enjoy the competitions as well as a comprehensive events and celebrations program that will include introduction to sports activities, following the idea of knowing the transformative power of the Olympic values.