FINA Communications Department

Some hours before the Opening Ceremony of the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Buenos Aires (ARG) until October 18, the atmosphere is warming-up at the Natatorium of the Youth Olympic Park. 400 swimmers – aged 15-18 – are enjoying their last training day, before the start of the event, scheduled for this Sunday, October 7 (heats at 10h00 in the morning, finals at 18h00, local time).

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu during the Technical Meeting

Today, at the Team Leaders Meeting, the delegations participating in the competition – around 140 nations will be present in Argentina -, were carefully listening to the technical specifications of the Swimming event, running from October 7 to 12. Held in a 50m-pool, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is a privileged opportunity to “discover” some of the stars that will shine at the FINA World Championships or elite Olympic Games’ level. One of the Ambassadors of the Games is South Africa’s Chad Le Clos – presently, one of the most celebrated swimmers in the planet -, who started his international exposure in the initial edition of the YOG, in 2010, in Singapore. 

“With this event, we want once more to show that our Sport, Swimming, is one of the most successful sports in the world. I hope you are motivated to swim fast here in Buenos Aires and that your athletes can compete at the best of their expectations”, underlined FINA Executive Director Cornal Marculescu during the technical meeting. “I am also pleased to say that many of you will honour us with your presence in the upcoming edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), to be held in Hangzhou (CHN), on December 11-16, 2018. Best luck to all of you!”, concluded Mr Marculescu.

Few metres away, many dozens of swimmers were already warming-up in the pool, fine-tuning their shape before the competition kick-off this Sunday. 

Competing in Budapest (HUN), at the fourth leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), the 2017 winner of the competition, spoke with the YOG News Service about the importance of the Youth Olympic Games. “One of the best bits of advice I got as a junior was: remember that winning and failing are parts of being an athlete, so you have to learn how to handle them both”, considered the Swedish champion. Moreover, she admits that a positive environment is essential for the athlete: “You have to surround yourself with good teammates who can help you get through those long, hard sessions. If you do that, it’s going to be a lot easier”, she concluded. This is certainly a valuable inspiration for the stars-to-be in Buenos Aires. 

The first day of the Swimming competition in Buenos Aires (ARG) will comprise the following events: men’s 400m free, women’s 50m breast, men’s 100m back, women’s 100m back, men’s 100m breast, women’s 200m IM, and mixed 4x100m free. 

The Aquatics programme at the YOG is completed by Diving, whose events will be staged from October 13-17.