This month is an important one for Buenos Aires as it is hosting the largest multi-discipline sporting event in the country’s history! The Youth Olympic Games will take place in Buenos Aires from the 6th to the 18th of October. Buenos Aires beat Glasgow, UK and Medellín, Colombia to be selected to hold the sporting event. Over the course of two weeks, over 4,000 athletes from more than 200 countries are coming to the city to compete against each other in an attempt to win a Gold medal.
So what is happening? Over 12 days, there will be 241 events in 32 different sports. Amazingly, all these events are free, you just have to apply for a pass and turn up early to get a seat. The opening ceremony was held on Saturday 6th of October by the Obelisk. If you go to this, you can expect parades, fireworks and music, and also an opportunity to see the athletes. Keep your eyes open for the mascot. It is a young Yaguareté, a large South American cat, very similar to the Jaguar, called “Pandi”. He was accompanying the torch on its 14,000-kilometer tour of the country before heading back to Buenos Aires for the opening ceremony.
If you want to go to an event you can register for free. This will give you a pass to the four Youth Olympic Parks and a number of other independent venues throughout the city. This can be found at https://ticketing.buenosaires2018.com. There are hundreds of thousands of passes available and there will be various points available throughout the city to pick up the wristbands. The events aren’t ticketed, but with the pass, you can go to any event you want. However, access to popular events will be allowed on a first come, first serve basis. So, it will be worth planning which ones you want to go to and arrive early if you think it will be popular.
Here are a few of the sports that I am looking forward to:
Roller speed skating. I only found out about this sport while researching for this event. Each race has 12 skaters speed around the track in a combined event that covers three distances – the 500m sprint, the 1,000m sprint, and the 5,000m elimination, and the final ranking is based on the combined number of points earned across the races. It’s a fast event and great fun to watch.
Cycling. As an avid cyclist, I will be watching a few of the cycling events. Some of these will be held in Bosques de Palermo, a park not far from Vamos Spanish Academy. There is a combined event, where riders compete as pairs in five different stages: three on the road and two cross-country. There are also two BMX competitions, racing, and freestyle park. These are great events where you can see riders perform gravity-defying tricks.
Sport Climbing. This will cover three styles: speed, bouldering, and lead. In speed, the aim is to be the fastest to the top of a 15m-high wall. In bouldering, the objective is to overcome the most problems on a climbing route in the least number of attempts and in lead, the goal is to go as high as possible on a route on a 15m wall in six minutes.
Finally, make sure to watch Delfina Pignatiello competing in the swimming. She is from Buenos Aires and has won a number of Gold Medals at other international events. Hopefully, she will win some more this time.
Written by Oliver Rock, currently living in Buenos Aires and studying Spanish at Vamos Spanish Academy.
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