Last Thursday saw the IOC make a landmark decision: they announced that the first ever Youth Olympics would be taking place in August 2010. This will be the first time that young athletes will get the chance to compete for Olympic gold, and they will be held over 12 days with an expected 3200 kids aged between 14 and 18 competing. The Winter Games will be held in 2012 and are expected to attract 1000 athletes.
IOC Head Honcho Jacques Rogge admitted that the scheme was not just an initiative to tackle child obesity but also a result of today’s youth losing interest in the traditional events involved the Summer Games. Indeed he acknowledged that the youth of today are more interested in competitions like the X Games, which feature BMX Freestyle, Skateboarding, Surfing anf FMX. The IOC has already added skateboarding to the London Olympics in 2012, and so the Youth Olympics is yet another attempt by the IOC to strengthen its reputation amongst teens, with many of these action sports touted to be amongst the events at the youth Olympics.
Mr Rogge stated:
“Just as the IOC has known, over our 100-plus years of existence, how to move with the times – so we must now adapt to meet the taste of today’s young generation.”
It is not yet known where the first Youth Olympics will be held, but 6 cities have already applied, and in line with tradition, they will be held every 4 years.