A 300-metre-long artwork in Dakar in celebration of the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games is attracting a lot of interest ©IOC

A mural featuring some of Africa's leading sportsmen and women to celebrate Dakar hosting the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games is proving to be a popular attraction nearly six months after it was unveiled.

A group of artists from across Africa were tasked with uniting the artistic with the athletic to create a mural celebrating the Senegalese capital being the first city from the continent to host an Olympic Games and the result was something set to inspire future generations for years to come.

The 300-metre-long artwork located at the Gare de Dakar was created by 15 different graffiti artists from across Africa and opened last October during the Dakar en Jeux Festival 2022, a new annual celebration blending sport with Senegalese culture in the build-up to the Youth Olympics.

It features the images of some of the continent’s biggest, including Senegal’s only Olympic medal winner, Seoul 1988 400 metres hurdler Amadou Dia Ba, as well as footballer Sadio Mané, the Bayern Munich striker who played for the country at last year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Also featured on the wall are images the Zimbabwe’s double Olympic swimming champion Kirsty Coventry, chair of the Dakar 2026 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission.

She attended the opening of the mural along with IOC President Thomas Bach.

Double Olympic swimming gold medallist Kirsty Coventry is among the athletes featured on the mural near Gare de Dakar ©IOC
Double Olympic swimming gold medallist Kirsty Coventry is among the athletes featured on the mural near Gare de Dakar ©IOC

Since its opening, hundreds of people have flocked each day to see the mural and have their picture taken with it.

"The [aim] behind the project is to immortalise these Olympic Games and that concept was something that really appealed to us as artists," Docta, one of the graffiti artists involved in the project, said.

"The [Dakar 2026] Organising committee gave us a list of athletes.

"When we saw the list, we were delighted. I recognised some of them from their achievements but there were others who I didn’t know.

"Each artist was given an athlete and the idea was each artist created their own piece and then we merged them all together - we have made something powerful.

"It’s like giving a part of us that we will never be able to get back.

"The aim was to immortalise athletes in the present; to create a living memorial of their achievements."