Hailed as the flagship of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) strategy regarding young people, the organising of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) was approved by the IOC in 2007 and Singapore was subsequently selected as the first host city for the summer YOG. Although the YOG is going to be the first new event the IOC has staged since the 1924 winter Olympic Games, its novelty may not be as radical as first impressions may suggest. This paper charts the chronological development of the YOG through a broad overview of little-known Youth Olympic Festivals, which the YOG is reported to be modelled after, and traces the political/economical/ideological contexts for the conception of the YOG. Despite being the latest addition to the Olympics family, the YOG is not spared from conflicts and tensions which inundated the Olympic Games. This paper aims to exemplify the range of debates presented by the launch of the YOG and contribute to the literature examining the opportunities and challenges presented by the launch of the YOG.
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