Dakar 2026 Coordination Commission chair Kirsty Coventry said the IOC is "very excited by the strides" made in preparations ©Getty Images

Dakar 2026 Coordination Commission chair Kirsty Coventry has claimed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is "very excited by the strides made" in preparations for the next Youth Olympic Games, despite reports of a delay to construction work.

The Coordination Commission met virtually to receive updates on preparations for the Games in the Senegalese capital, delayed by four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and impact of the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

The planned start date for the remaining refurbishments for Dakar 2026 has been delayed until the first quarter of next year, but the IOC said its Coordination Commission had been assured it would be completed in time for the Youth Olympics.

Work had initially been due to start on infrastructure projects at the end of this year.

The IOC has worked with International Federations and the Organising Committee to finalise athlete quotas, medal events, formats and the schedule, and hopes an updated "edition plan" can be finalised "in the coming months".

It was reported to the Commission the second Dakar en Jeux festival scheduled for October 31 to November 4 is set to feature activities in all of Senegal's 46 departments and 14 regions, engaging up to 30,000 spectators and 2,000 athletes.

Senegal's capital Dakar is due to stage the Youth Olympics from October 31 to November 13 2026 ©Getty Images
Senegal's capital Dakar is due to stage the Youth Olympics from October 31 to November 13 2026 ©Getty Images

Other activities planned include the Olympic, Civic and Sports Certificate education programme aiming to reach 900,000 children by 2026, with schools in Tambacounda, Kolda and Ziguinchor already having taken part, a planned Kids' Olympic Skills initiative to launch next year and an IOC Young Reporters scheme.

Coventry, an IOC member in Zimbabwe who also chairs the Coordination Commission for Brisbane 2032, insisted optimism remained high for Dakar 2026.

"We are very excited by the strides Dakar 2026 is making in preparing for the YOG [Youth Olympic Games]," she said.

"With initiatives like the Dakar en Jeux festival, the Olympic values and the spirit of the YOG are being embedded in the hearts of Senegal's younger generation.

"And with its strong emphasis on youth engagement and mobilisation, Dakar 2026 promises to be not just a showcase of youth sporting talent, but also a celebration of the vibrant spirit and potential of young people across Senegal and the African continent.

"As we move closer to the YOG, our commitment remains not only to provide a world-class sporting event, but also to foster a lasting legacy that empowers and inspires young people in Senegal and throughout Africa."

Dates of October 31 to November 13 2026 were decided last year for the fourth Summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games.