2018 Youth Olympic Games: excitement grows in Argentina
The new year 2018 is almost upon us and one of the most exciting and important events on the calendar will be the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG).
Nowhere is there more anticipation than in the host nation itself, and UIPM contacted three key individuals in Argentina to find out their impressions and feelings with less than a year to go until the opening ceremony.
Jorge Salas, President of the South American Modern Pentathlon Confederation (CSPM), said: “Preparations for YOG 2018 are within forecasts and even very advanced in some areas. We believe that everything will be finalized at the beginning of 2018 and we will present a fantastic world event.
“Our country has a great sporting tradition and the event is generating great expectations. There is a lot of anticipation in the population near the Olympic facilities. Promotional work is intense and continuous. No doubt this event has contributed to the knowledge of Modern Pentathlon and its history.
“We must remember that Argentina joined the group that started the Modern Olympic Games, which had an important national team until the Olympics in Rome in 1960 where it obtained a 3rd place in riding and 7th in swimming.
“In 2012, Buenos Aires hosted the Centennial UIPM Congress, with the largest participation of nations in history.
“Today our national team is experiencing an important development phase and the YOG Buenos Aires 2018 will be a powerful factor in the promotion and consolidation of pentathlon in our country.”
Josefina Bernatene, a female athlete aiming to compete for Argentina at YOG 2018, said: “The preparations are going very well from a sporting perspective, as you can see from the number of shares in international media.
“In Buenos Aires and Argentina, there are still a lot of people who are not yet aware that the Youth Olympic Games is coming here but there is a lot of advertising and interest is growing.
“It’s a dream for me to have a chance of taking part in an Olympic Games and I have been waiting for several years. For me it’s going to be very important, especially to take part in Modern Pentathlon which was created by the fundamental creator of the Modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, in 1912.
“It is a great dream – difficult, but not impossible.”
Franco Serrano, a male athlete also hoping to compete for the host nation at the Games, said: “My preparations are going quite well, I am training hard and constantly. I’m putting all my effort and concentration to achieve the best outcome.
“The environment is very motivating as sport and the YOG are being promoted very actively around the country.
“The importance is huge because this experience makes me reflect on all the effort of training and help that others give me. It would be more than a dream to get an Olympic medal.”
The 3rd Youth Olympic Games will take place from October 6-18, 2018 with Modern Pentathlon (Tetrathlon) featuring on October 12-14 and 16.
As in Singapore (2010) and Nanjing (2014), there will be medals at stake in three events: Men’s and Women’s Individual and Mixed Relay.
Fourteen of the world’s leading Under 19 athletes have already secured direct qualification places and many others are continuing to work on their qualifying campaigns. The 14 direct places were secured earlier in the year at the European, Pan American and Asia/ Oceania qualifiers in Mafra (POR), Merida (MEX) and Gotemba (JAP) respectively.
In the first Newsletter of 2018 we will bring you news of the African qualifier in Lagos (NIG) taking place on December 7, 2017.