The Monaco delegation only has five athletes at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, but there was no shortage of excitement among them as they took a first look at their competition venues.
Men’s pair Olivier Lanteri and Ludovic Palmaro will represent Monaco in the beach volleyball competition at Green Park, a big outdoors venue for Buenos Aires 2018, which will also host the tennis, triathlon, cycling, equestrian and futsal events.
The sand on the beach volleyball courts in Buenos Aires’ leafy Palermo neighbourhood is primed for the newly arrived athletes who have now began training at the three secondary courts and the main stadium. Good weather and a large audience are expected during the 11 days of competition that will start on Sunday, October 7.
Monaco’s Lanteri and Palmaro arrived at Green Park on Wednesday with their Slovakian coach Jana Zyani to familiarise with the venue and book training slots ahead of their debut.
“It’s an amazing place. I’m very surprised with the venues and the organisation of these Youth Games,” Lanteri said. “What I’ve seen so far at the Village and the beach volleyball courts is great.”
His teammate Palmaro agreed: “It’s really nice for us to be part of this event after our debut on the (International Volleyball Federation) FIVB world circuit last month in China. We have high hopes for showing a good performance at this tournament.”
After visiting the stadium where they will soon compete, Monaco’s beach volleyball players returned to the Youth Olympic Village to meet the other three members of their delegation: sprinter Charlotte Afriat and swimmers Emilien Puyo and Claudia Verdino.
“We’re few but we’re the best!” said Lanteri, while Palamaro added: "We’re here to leave our country’s name high up in the sports world and to enjoy a unique event.”