The Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee took possession this Monday of the Youth Olympic Village, the future home to the 3,998 athletes that will compete in the biggest multisport event in Argentina's history.
In a ceremony held on site in the Villa Soldati neighbourhood in the south of Buenos Aires, Luis Scola, Olympic champion and Ambassador to Buenos Aires 2018, Paula Pareto, gold medalist at Rio 2016, Walter Perez, gold medalist at Beijing 2008, and Sebastian Crismanich, Olympic champion at London 2012, received the commemorative key for Buenos Aires 2018 from Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, the mayor of Buenos Aires.
Star shooter Fernanda Russo, field hockey player Agustina Albertario and equestrian athlete Martina Campi – all Youth Olympic Games medalists – in addition to young Argentina athletes attended the ceremony.
“I inagurate a wonderful future for all the young athletes who are going to enjoy this incredible house that is the Youth Olympic Village,” said president of the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee, Gerardo Werthein, during the act.
Above: One of the 7,016 beds in the Youth Olympic Village
During the Games the Village will house 6,286 residents comprised of athletes, coaches and sport federation representatives. In total there will be 7,016 beds available and a dining room with the capacity to seat 2,300 people. For a little more than two weeks it will be a small city where dozens of languages are spoken.
“The objective was to hand over the Youth Olympic Village to the Organising Committe six months before (the Games). It was a commitment and today it's great to have achieved that”, said Buenos Aires mayor Rodríguez Larreta.
With its 31 towers the Youth Olympic Village is transforming the Villa Soldati neighbourhood in the south of Buenos Aires. The development propelled the construction of a public school and a daycare in the area, in addition to kicking off a project to turn a local hospital into a tertiary care centre.
Above: The Buenos Aires 2018 village with the Espacial Tower in background
When the Youth Olympic Games come to an end, the apartments will be sold off through a soft loan system and handed over to their new owners between March and April of 2019.
Unlike the Olympic Games where the athletes must leave the complex when they are finished competing, the athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will stay in the Village for the entirety of the Games.
What's more, the athletes will have the chance to participate in the educational and cultural activities on offer from the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee.
The Village, that started to become a reality when its foundation stone was laid in May of 2016, will officially open its doors with an event for over 6000 people where it will receive 30,000 suitcases belonging to the best young athletes in the world.