(ATR) Curious groups of Argentine school children laughed, smiled and frolicked as they were led around the Youth Olympic Park on a gorgeous day in Buenos Aires.
Posing for photos in front of the Olympic Flame (ATR)
Classes posed together as teachers took group selfies, the Olympic Flame blazing behind. The YOG park is its home after it was transported from the downtown Obelisk following its lighting at the opening ceremony.
For the teen-aged athletes though, it was all business on day four of competition at the Youth Olympic Games. The nine venues at the well laid out park bustled with action as athletes trained and competed. Medals are up for grabs in swimming, fencing, judo, taekwondo and gymnastics during Wednesday’s busy schedule.
A hockey fives contest between Namibia and Poland packed the field hockey stadium to roughly 80 percent capacity including the enthusiastic children. Cheers erupted for every goal echoing across to the Aquatics Natatorium on the opposite side of the park.
Sport Initiation Program Teaches Kids
Kids can learn to throw a proper jab, joust with a sabre or take down an opponent in judo, while being taught the principles of sportsmanship.
Pinelli lands a blow on Bauer (ATR)
It is all part of the Youth Olympic Games Sport Initiation program offered throughout all Buenos Aires sport parks. Twelve different sports are being taught in two zones of the park.
Paula Falcone, a physical education teacher and gymnastics coach from Buenos Aires, is helping to administer the program at the Youth Olympic Park.
“It’s like fast food – kids can taste each of the sports in just 15 minutes,” Falcone tells Around the Rings.
“The national federations have brought the teachers and equipment. It is really fantastic.
“We are developing the skills and abilities of the children and for me, this is the most important thing.”
Falcone says that while the sport initiation program is focused around kids, anyone visiting the park can give it a try.
’s Brian Pinelli and Aaron Bauer learned the basics of boxing, squaring off in a heated and vicious battle in the ring. Pinelli easily scored a TKO over his nemesis, while admitting afterward that he is extremely afraid of his next opponent, a highly regarded 15-year-old from Havana, Cuba.
Judo Mixed Team Event
Mixed Team Judo (ATR)
The Youth Olympic Games are largely about experimenting with the sport program, tossing new sports at the wall to see if they stick.
One of those events is Mixed team Judo, where both male and female judoka from different countries comprise the teams battling at the Asia Pavilion.
The teams are named after Olympic host cities. With 13 teams competing, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro advanced to the semifinals.
Too early though to name teams after Milan or Stockholm. Perhaps if organizers from either city can impress the IOC over the upcoming eight months, Team Milan or Stockholm will be grappling for gold at the next Summer YOG in Nairobi 2022.
Coverage of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games is made possible in part by BA 2018
Written by Brian Pinelli at the Youth Olympic Park in Buenos Aires
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