Buenos Aires is gearing up for a festival of sport this October: the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, will see almost 4,000 of tomorrow’s sporting stars compete at venues throughout the city. It’s the world’s biggest multisport youth competition, and as well as the best-known Olympics sports of track and field, there are also some intriguing fixtures to look out for.
Argentina boasts the best polo players in the world, and visitors come from afar to witness the sport of kings at Buenos Aires’ legendary polo ground, so Argentina’s Olympic medal chances were severely dented when polo was removed from the list of regular Olympic sports after the country’s second consecutive gold medal in the sport at Berlin 1936. Buenos Aires 2018 will see polo back in the games, if only as a showcase sport, which means more chances to see some of the best polo in the world in Buenos Aires, as the sport attempts to boost its popularity and overcome its reputation for elitism. It will be joined by squash, which fans have wanted to see included in the Olympic programme for many years.
The programme for Buenos Aires 2018 features three new sports included for the first time in the official Olympic line-up: breakdancing, karate and sport climbing. Breakdancing, perhaps the most surprising addition, will take a battle format in an appropriately urban setting: the games’ Urban Park in the downtown neighbourhood of Puerto Madero against a backdrop of skyscrapers and the regenerated docks. The additions of karate and sport climbing (combining the lead, speed and bouldering disciplines), meanwhile, offer a teaser for things to come at Tokyo 2020, which will incorporate both sports into the full adult programme for the first time. See it here first!
For something even more novel, how about having a go at a cross between football, volleyball and gymnastics? Some of the world’s latest sporting creations will be showcased during the games’ sports initiations, where members of the public can try new sports for themselves at the Olympics parks. In total, you’ll be able to try your hand at 30 different sports, including bossaball, a Spanish invention that combines elements of football, volleyball, gymnastics with a soundtrack of Latin rhythms on an inflatable pitch with trampolines that allow competitors to jump high enough to hit the ball over the net. Other options to try include urban table tennis, roller freestyle, baseball/softball, frontball and slackline. Buenos Aires 2018 is the place to try something new!