By Kelvin Larmy
Kenyan athletes who were hoping to showcase their talent during this year have sufferred a big blow after widespread disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic caused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2022 Dakar Youth Olympics.
The IOC has has now mutually agreed to postpone the first Olympic event that was to be to be held in Africa to 2026, following a request from Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
The decision was approved by the IOC Executive Board during its latest remote meeting last week and was given the green light by the Session. The IOC Executive Board approved the agreement, which was proposed by Senegalese President Macky Sall in a phone call with IOC President Bach, and which will be put to the IOC Session for ratification on Friday last week.
“This postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, NOCs, and IFs to better plan their activities which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the subsequent postponement of other international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis,” President Bach said.
National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) President, Paul Tergat, who is an IOC member is also a member of the coordination commission for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games. During the discussion surrounding the postponement, IOC member De Vos requested another event be held to fill the gap for youth athletes.
“With the successful Buenos Aires Youth Olympics in mind, this means that a whole generation of youth will be deprived from having their Games in 2022 and the dreams that go along with them and I’m sure they’ll be very disappointed, especially as the establishment of qualification and rules were already initiated,” he said.
“Would it be possible to allow individual International Federations if they wish to organise in 2022 a competition as a replacement of the Youth Olympic Games built around the same principles with the endorsement of the IOC? “Youth is the future and youth is one of the top priorities in the Olympic Agenda 2020 and I’m sure it will be a priority in the future.”