To Dakar 2026four sports will make their debut at the Summer Youth Olympic Games: baseball5, skateboarding, surfing, and wushu.
These additions to the Olympic program were made to increase sports activity among African youth and achieve equality in each sport and in the number of events for the first time.
The Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 has the same number of female and male athletes, but different numbers of women’s and men’s events.
A total of 35 sports are on the Dakar 2026 program with new disciplines being replaced in particular roller skating and trampoline.
In sports already on the Olympic program, new events will also appear for the first Youth Olympic Games organized in Africa. Beach wrestling replaced Greco-Roman wrestling and introduced the canoe sprint on the beach. Climbing will change from a combined event to bouldering while in cycling, four team events will be replaced by individual events in BMX freestyle, road racing and individual time trials.
Four years away from Dakar 2026, it’s time to look at the four new sports that will debut at the Summer Youth Olympic Games. Below, you can even get a preview of what awaits you in the video thanks to a presentation scheduled for 2022, the date originally scheduled for the fourth Summer YOG before they were postponed due to the crisis to health.
Baseball5 is an urban version of baseball and softball played five-on-five over five innings.
There are no pitchers on baseball teams5. This discipline does not require a bat or gloves: all you need is a ball.
Baseball5 entered the YOG program thanks to its innovation and accessibility. Without equipment, this sport is fast, exciting and can be played anywhere.
In April 2022, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) held a one-week baseball course5 in Senegal, to introduce players from African National Olympic Committees (ANOCA) to the rules of the sport. Practices and matches also took place.
This innovative format will be tested in competition at the first Baseball World Cup5, from November 7 to 13 in El Zócalo, Mexico. It will be contested in 2023 at the African Beach Games in Tunisia.
Skateboarding is one of the great moments of Tokyo 2020 Games, in 2021, where the sport made its Olympic debut. The skaters are a hit with their gravity-defying tricks and unique clothing styles.
However, Africa is represented there by three athletes from South Africa.
As a sport that is easily accessible and practical in any urban environment, it is an ideal addition to the program of Dakar 2026. Skateboarding can perfectly fit the goal of promoting different Olympic disciplines in the youth in Africa.
In skateboarding, 12 men and 12 women will participate in the park event scheduled at the Complexe Tour de l’œuf.
They will race into a bowl-type skatepark and have 45 seconds to perform tricks that will be scored by the judges.
Surfing has also entered the Olympic program for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.
It is a sport that proved how global it is during the Olympics with medalists from five different continents including Africa thanks to South African Bianca BuitendagOlympic silver medalist for women.
In Dakar 2026, the surfing events will take place in Saly where the athletes will compete individually.
Judges will score from one to ten the maneuvers performed wave by wave, by each athlete.
Senegal is looking for the heir of Fall of Cherifthe athlete hoping to become the first Senegalese surfer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
Wushu is a combat sport that first appeared on the Olympic stage as a demonstration event in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and in Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
This discipline, created to standardize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts, is enjoyed by more than 120 million people worldwide.
In YOG 2026, 48 athletes will compete in four events: Changquan Women, Changquan Men, Taijiquan Women and Taijiquan Men.
Changquan includes techniques based on large movements that require speed and flexibility from athletes, while Taijiquan requires breath control along with slower and more technical movements.
Singapore’s Yong Yi Xiang at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
Image courtesy of 2015 Getty Images