Every four years, the overshadowed younger sister to the Olympic Games — The Summer Youth Olympic Games, or YOG — pops out of her shell ready to go for gold. The elite game brings together the world’s best young athletes between the ages of 15-18 for tournaments in 32 sports, including fan-favorites such as swimming, diving, gymnastics, basketball, and football.
4000 athletes who feel the future
The past two summer games were hosted by China in 2014 and Singapore in 2010, respectively. This year’s games are important ones to watch for a few reasons. This October, the YOG will be held in none other than the “Paris of South America”– our very own Buenos Aires. This year’s event also marks an important step in athletic gender equality. The 2018 Buenos Aires games will mark the first time in history that an Olympic event has had an even ratio of female-male athletes. This year also sees the addition of BMX freestyle, kiteboarding, and beach handball.
Feel the Future: The official slogan of the Buenos Aires Games
From October 6-18, the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (Monumental, the River stadium) will reverberate with the cheers of roaring crowds rooting for 3,920 star athletes from across the globe. Hailing from 206 different countries, this year’s roundup of young athletes will be making their way around Buenos Aires’ various game venues, including the Parque Urbano in Puerto Madero. Click here to learn more about the different venues and disciplines.
Buenos Aires, a sports capital
For those of us who sadly aren’t competing as world-renowned athletes in the Olympics, as it turns out… you can actually play (and watch) sports in many places around the city as a regular person!
Here are the 4 best places to work up a sweat in Buenos Aires….or watch someone else do it instead. Whether you’re honing your deporte skills, in whatever division it may be, to impress the youngster athletes in time for October, or just grabbing a beer and cheering along with screaming fans in a sports bar, we’ve got you covered.
- La Bombonera
The famed stadium in La Boca, owned by the Boca Juniors, is a must-see for hinchas de futbol (soccer fans). It’s called La Bombonera (‘chocolate box’) for its unusual ‘D’ shape. Even if you come out of season, trade in a game for a trip to the stadium’s museum, open daily, from 10am-6pm, with the option to tour the stadium for an extra cost.
- Swim in a public pool
Craving a swim? For summer-time visitors, beat the heat and dive into one of Buenos Aires’ many public pools. Your options: Parque Norte in Belgrano (the largest and most popular), Parque Sarmiento in Saavedra, and Parque Manuel Belgrano in the Bosques de Palermo.
- Run around the Reserva Ecologica de Buenos Aires
Also known as Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, this 865-acre tract of low land is a great place to burn some calories. Located on the east side of the Puerto Madero neighborhood against the riverbank of the Rio del Plata, the nature reserve boasts beautiful trails for runners and bikers, sights for bird-watching, and an abundance of natural vegetation and wildlife.
- Catch a game at El Alamo
While you’re downing that mediocre Quilmes beer, you might as well order a heap of fries and watch your favorite local or international sports game at El Alamo. This American-style sports bar is one of the premiere joints of its kind in the city, where you’ll find locals and expats alike crowd in elbow-to-elbow to watch an NFL or NBA game, just like you’re back in the good ol’ U-S-of-A.
For more sporty ideas in Buenos Aires, please click here.
Post written by Devorah Levy-Pearlman