The doors of the Youth Olympic Village opened on Tuesday to receive the delegations from 206 countries that will participate in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Over 2,000 young athletes arrived at their new accomodations on the first day.
The first day of arrivals at the Youth Olympic Village was filled with postcard moments: Swiss athletes playing table football, the Jamaican delegation rolling their suitcases into the residential area, young Paraguayan sports stars getting their Games credentials.
The Youth Olympic Village will be home to 4,012 young athletes, representing 206 countries, during the international multi-sport event.
The first competitions will start on Sunday, October 7, after the opening ceremony to be held by the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires on Saturday. All athletes will stay in the Village until the Youth Olympic Games finish on October 18.
As the Youth Olympic Village officially opened on Tuesday, Olympic spirit could be felt in the air. The youngsters from Uzbekistan were the first ones to get a tour of the site. After having breakfast in the dining hall, they explored the common area and played football in the park.
Among them was Ekaterina Fetisova, winner of the 2018 Asian Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship, who joined her male compatriots in the football game.
“We’re excited to be in Buenos Aires,” Fetisova said. “The Village looks like a beautiful place. We’re going to have a great time.”
Over 2,000 athletes checked into the Youth Olympic Village on the first day and, as they settled in their rooms, flags from different countries could be seen hanging from the balconies. The Village is made up of 31 residential buildings, which house 1,139 apartments.
The Colombian athletes were among the first to enter their Games-time accommodations.
“We arrived in Buenos Aires on Saturday,” said Stefanía Sarmiento García, Colombia’s rugby sevens team player. “We stayed at a sports club until it was time to go in the Village. We are fulfilling our dream. We love this place, it’s a very moving experience.”
Japan’s young athletes arrived shortly after, wearing elegant uniforms of black pants, white shirts and grey jackets. After almost 20 hours of travel from Tokyo, they stepped on Argentine soil on Tuesday and were excited to see their new home.
“It’s a great joy for us to be a part of these Games. We’re ready to live in the Village, to enjoy the experience and compete with the top athletes,” said Japan’s windsurfer Takumi Ikeda.