Day 12: here’s what’s been happening at the YOG
There was still time for medals to be awarded and fans to enjoy the atmosphere before the Closing Ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018…
A fitting finale
The incredible performances of the 4,000 athletes over the past 12 days of competition – as well as the similarly impressive efforts of the 8,000 volunteers – were celebrated in a spectacular Closing Ceremony at the Youth Olympic Village as the curtain came down on Buenos Aires 2018.
After some artistic performances, a YOG highlights reel video and the traditional parade of National Olympic Committees, the flag was passed to Dakar, the host of the next YOG in 2022. The symbolic extinguishing of the Olympic flame was then followed by a fireworks display and finally an audio-visual extravaganza, as ‘Game Changers’ from more than 200 countries celebrated the final night of their once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Performance of the day
Cheered on by her Norwegian team-mates and with her mother also in attendance, Annika Saelid won the women’s kumite +59kg title after a brilliant display against her formidable Japanese opponent, Sakura Sawashima, at Europa Pavilion. But the person to whom she dedicated her gold medal was sadly missing from her support team in Buenos Aires.
“My brother was diagnosed with cancer before I got here, so he couldn’t make it,” she said afterwards. “He does karate as well, so this is for him and me, together. It means a lot.”
Off the shelf
The final day of competition provided fans with a last chance to stock up on Buenos Aires 2018 merchandise, with queues swelling around the stores that remained open in the Tecnopolis and Youth Olympic Parks. The cuddly toys had sold out long ago, but there were still plenty of limited edition goods to purchase at discount prices, including pins, mugs, stationery, beach towels and a variety of clothing accessories. #Pandi socks, anyone?
Capturing YOG moments
The first IOC Young Photographers programme came to a close today, with Chloe Knott, Alexander D'Addese, Abbie Parr, Shoi Uda and Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe all receiving debriefs after a fortnight that has seen them cover a diverse range of Olympic sports across the four parks. They have also had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, and according to one of the mentors Joel Marklund, who is Chief Photographer for Swedish photo agency Bildbyrån, the standard was high.
“I’m really impressed,” he said. “For all of the photographers, it was new sports that they’ve never covered before – 3x3 basketball, for example, which is action all of the time – but they found really good angles and perspectives.”
Quote of the day
‘“It’s amazing to be the last athlete to win a gold medal. To get in the ring with the crowd and that atmosphere… I enjoyed every second of it.”
British boxer Caroline Dubois relished winning the women’s lightweight gold medal bout, which was the final piece of sporting action of the YOG.