Five sports are set to be added to the programme for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal, after the International Olympic Committee Executive Board approved the inclusions of breakdancing, karate, surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding.
The IOC said that Dakar 2022 would feature “all the youth focused sports proposed by Paris 2024” in order to follow the “natural pathway of the Youth Olympian”.
All of the additional sports, with the exception of karate, will be on the programme for the 2024 Olympics.
Breakdancing, sport climbing and karate featured at the most recent edition of the Youth Games in Buenos Aires last year.
The initial 28-sport athlete competition programme for Dakar 2022 was unveiled in March, but the IOC said it has carried out significant work since then alongside international federations to help reduce hosting costs.
With an eye on the bottom line, Dakar 2022 will have the same number of events as Buenos Aires 2018 – a total of 239. However, the capacity of the Youth Olympic Village will be reduced from 4,000 athletes to 2,650 via the introduction of a so-called ‘two waves of athletes’ system, allowing for more athletes to participate in the Games without stretching the infrastructure.
The IOC added that several existing venues have been identified for each sport to help trim hosting costs further.
Additionally, the IOC has said that there will be “full gender equality” at the Youth Olympics, not only in terms of the number of participants, but also the split within each sport. For example, boxing, gymnastics and wresting will reach gender parity for the first time at the Games.
“The agreed athlete competition is youthful and completely gender-balanced and shows that the IOC continues to develop the Youth Olympic Games that will feature over 4,500 athletes from all National Olympic Committees,” IOC president Thomas Bach said.