IaafNews29 Jul 2018

Youth Olympic Games torch starts tour of Argentina with visit to 100 years of athletics celebration dinner


Sebastian Coe is presented with the Youth Olympic Games torch at ConSudAtle's centenary (© IAAF)

Three days after being lit by the sun at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Tuesday, the Youth Olympic Games flame made its way to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to mark the start of its 60-day journey.

One of the first stops for the iconic flame was the ConSudAtle centenary celebrations, where Argentine Olympic Committee President Gerardo Werthein surprised the audience gathered at the Hotel Panamericano in Buenos Aires.

As a salute to the historic anniversary for athletics in the area, Werthein entered the dinner carrying the Olympic flame housed in a lantern, remarking that he was delighted the flame for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 could visit the number one sport of the Olympic Games.

From August to September, the Youth Olympic Games flame will travel 14,000 kilometres around 17 cities of Argentina. The Buenos Aires 2018 Torch Tour will highlight Argentina’s cultural and geographical diversity as it travels through the northwest, northeast, Cuyo, Pampa and Patagonia regions.

The flame’s tour of the country, which will host the 3rd edition of the Youth Olympic Games later this year, will end on 6 October at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires. This famous city centre monument stands only a matter of a few metres away from the Panamericano hotel in which the ConSudAtle centenary dinner took place.

The dinner show for 100 guests, who included representatives of the IAAF Council, the 13 national athletics associations of South America and star athletes from the area’s illustrious history, was hosted by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and ConSudAtle President Roberto Gesta De Melo.

Coe was presented with a Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 torch by Werthein, Argentinian NOC President, in recognition of athletics’ status as the number one sport of the Olympic Games.

Commenting on the arrival of the Olympic flame and YOG Torch at the dinner, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “The Olympic flame is an extraordinary iconic symbol. A symbol which calls athletes and nations together. A symbol of fair and friendly competition. A symbol of inspiration and hope. A symbol that quite literally represents sport at all levels. I am looking forward to returning to Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympic Games later this year.”