Featured Image Credit: IOC
The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) first began in 2010 as a sporting event for elite young athletes between the ages of 15-18. That year, Liberia sent five young athletes to the inaugural games in Singapore to compete in athletics, canoeing and swimming. Similar to the Summer Olympics, the Summer YOG is held every four years over a 12 day period with 28 featured sports. The Summer YOG has also been hosted in China and, coming summer 2018, Argentina. Now, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has moved to consider bringing YOG 2022 to the African continent.
“Africa is the home of so many very successful Olympic athletes. Africa is a continent of youth. That is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa. The IOC will proactively approach a number of African NOCs to evaluate the feasibility of such a project.” IOC President Thomas Bach stated.
The IOC will take several factors into consideration, including the “use of existing infrastructure and affordable temporary fields of play, enhanced flexibility and adaptation to the local context,” as well as the YOG model. The decision is slated to be made at the next IOC session in Buenos Aires October 2018.
With the IOC targeting African National Olympic Committees as host cities, we have to ask: Is it time for Liberia? We have the newly renovated track at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex and a beautiful coastline to accommodate the newly added sport, surfing. We also have untouched land outside of the capital city, Monrovia. Lastly, we have one of the world’s greatest athletes as our president, His Excellency George Manneh Oppong Weah.
The fertile sports community would promote more than just football in Liberia and boost support across the board. However, the road, water and light conditions would be the biggest roadblock to being considered a potential YOG host.
No, it is not Liberia’s time, but she has the potential to be up next. In the next four years, Liberia could be a different country with better infrastructure. A nation that we hope will one day host an international sports event and have the capacity to broadcast it to the world.