BUENOS AIRES, June 11, 2018 - The big players at Buenos Aires 2018 arenít just the 3,998 young athletes who will represent 206 countries and compete in 32 sports. Well before the opening ceremony on October 6, the Youth Olympic Village received schoolchildren who also became protagonists of the Games while having an unforgettable experience.
For nine days (from May 28 to June 7) more than 2,000 children visited the grounds in the Villa Soldati neighbourhood and became part of the intangible legacy of Buenos Aires 2018. In total, 49 primary and middle schools - both private and public - visited the Village.
In addition to getting to know the place that will be home to the young athletes in October, the students participated in a Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee initiative: each one wrote a message on a piece of paper to cheer on the athletes. A total of 2,018 messages were left in the Village.
The childrenís messages were organised under four headings. Three were in the name of the three Olympic values: respect, excellence and friendship. A fourth category, passion, was added to highlight another feature that wonít be lacking at Buenos Aires 2018.
The messages will be delivered to the young athletes when they enter the Village and start their Olympic adventure. The children also left an online contact so that the athletes will be able to get in touch with them to thank them for their support.
The children also participated in sport initiation activities organised by 10 federations so they could try distinct sports and learn the basic rules. On Thursday, for example, they got to try out volleyball, judo, wrestling and weightlifting.
The last day was a special one because the tour was conducted in French (one of the official languages of Olympism) with more than 200 students from the Alliance Francaise in Buenos Aires. They also left their messages to cheer on the young athletes and became part of Buenos Aires 2018.