One week ! This is the duration of the Festival Dakar en Jeux, organized in view of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2026. The launch was given yesterday in Saly, in the presence of the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, and his collaborators, the president of the Cnoss, Diagna Ndiaye, and the representative of the mayor of Dakar.
By Hyacinthe DIANDY – Let’s go for the Festival de Dakar en Jeux, which will last from October 29 to November 5, 2022. The kick-off was given on Saturday in Mbour, in the presence of a strong delegation from the IOC, led by its president , Thomas Bach. Who was accompanied by the IOC Executive Director, Christophe Dubi, the Director of the Games, Kirsty Coventry, Olympic swimming champion and Minister of Sports of Zimbabwe.
For a week, and four years from Dakar 2026, we will indeed be entitled to a busy program which began this Saturday in Saly with the official opening. A ceremony rich in color and rhythm, marked by sports activities and animation on the Olympic values, under the eyes of the president of the Cojoj, Diagna Ndiaye, his coordinator, Ibrahima Wade, the director of Cabinet of the mayor of Dakar, of the director of High competition at the Ministry of Sports, Léopold Senghor, of Amadou Gallo Fall of the Nba Africa, among other presences.
Afterwards, at the start of the afternoon, head for Diamniadio, at the Amadou Makhtar Mbow University, site of the future Olympic Village, where a tree planting session took place as part of the Olympic Forest.
The next stage took place at the Dakar railway station, with a very Olympic decor marked by the unveiling of the Dakar 2026 fresco and discussions with young athletes. And this, under the eyes of two great champions, the athlete Amy Mbacké Thiam, the basketball player Mame Maty Mbengue, the president of the Fsf, Me Augustin Senghor, among others.
The last act of this first day of Dakar en Jeux was held at the Palace, where the President of the Republic offered a dinner to the delegation led by the President of the IOC and the President of the Cnoss. Before President Bach leaves Dakar on Sunday morning.
Thomas Bach: “The progress of infrastructure already gives the spirit of these Games”
As a summary of the day, Thomas Bach and Diagna Ndiaye spoke with the press at the railway station. In his speech, the boss of World Olympism first welcomed the state of progress of the infrastructure. “The preparations for the Youth Olympic Games are going well. It is important because the progress of the infrastructures already gives the spirit of these Games. The infrastructure of this station is impressive, with the station, the wall which is magnificent, this bodes well for the anticipation for the YOG, here in Senegal.
On the tree planting session, the president of the Cio explains such a gesture by “the determination of the Cio to fight against global warming. Because we went to plant an Olympic Forest in Senegal and Mali. We have already planted 70,000 indigenous trees in Senegal and until the Joj, we will have planted 600,000 in this zone of the Sahel. It is also a social and economic project, because we are already helping the people in this region. We targeted 90 villages to improve their social life and living conditions. Through this effort which is to fight against deforestation in the Sahel region, it is a way for the Cio to make its contribution against global warming which is already hurting Africa and Senegal.
An opportunity for President Bach to once again thank the President of the Cnoss, “my colleague and dear friend, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, who received us with the warmth of a true friendship which binds us and which will give assurance to these Yog which will be a great success for sport and youth in Senegal, but also in Africa and for all the athletes of the world”.
In conclusion, the IOC President thanked the President of the Republic, Macky Sall, “for the constant support he has always provided for the success of the Yog”. “He is a great friend and adviser. If we have a political question, he always gives his advice. This is why I am always delighted to see him again and thank him for the hospitality offered”.
Diagna Ndiaye: “What is important are the synergies that emerge…”
Welcoming the presence in Dakar of the boss of the Cio, Diagna Ndiaye said he was delighted. “Today, President Bach’s visit is a visit of observation, of courtesy, but above all a visit of proximity to see a little where we are in the preparations for the Yog. The Covid, which had caught up with us in the middle, gave us a lot more time to organize ourselves. Hence the emergence of the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium and also many things in terms of infrastructure that are being realized.
For the president of the Cojoj, “what is important are the synergies that emerge. You know, before Dakar 2026, there is Paris 2024. We work a lot with Paris in a Jokko association. They are also coming to see us on the 4th of next month to finalize a certain number of projects with us. The aim of the Games is for all the compartments, all the disciplines eligible for the YOG to take part in comfort, with the attributes of a top-level athlete. We will have to continue on this complicity with the press to restore to the populations what the IOC expects from these Games, what the government expects from these Games and what the population expects from these Games”, concluded Diagna Ndiaye who, in turn, thanked President Macky Sall for his involvement in the success of Dakar 2026.