Buenos Aires, Russia as leader of the medal table with 59, Argentina which impressed with the organisation and also garnered 26 medals, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which innovated with new sports, were the top winners of the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games.
The competition began on October 6 with a novel opening ceremony at the Obelisk, on 9th of July Avenue. Thursday’s closing ceremony took almost two hours and was attended by some 200,000 people, according to the organisers, reports Efe news agency.
“These games exceeded all our expectations, we did not even expect to be so successful. We managed to make it more urban, with more female participation. The environment, the quality of the village and the audience have far exceeded our expectations,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.
“With the overwhelming success of these Olympic Youth Games no one can have any doubt that Buenos Aires would be a great host city for the Olympic Games,” Bach added.
The sports introduced for the first time in the programme caught the public’s attention.
Sport climbing, Breakdancing (urban dance) and Incline speed skating debuted with full bleachers.
In addition, these Games had for the first time gender parity, a subject the IOC had been striving for.
Another innovation was to bring sports closer to people by promoting them in parks. According to the Organising Committee, Buenos Aires 2018 had almost one million spectators.
Russia leads the medal table with 29 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Japan followed with 39 (15-12-12), China with 36 (18-9-9), Italy with 34 (11-10-13), France with 27 (5-15-7), Argentina with 26 (11 -6-9) and Hungary with 24 (12-7-5).
The United States finished in ninth place with 18 medals: 6 gold, 5 silver, and 7 bronze. And the second South American country was Brazil with 13 (2-4-7).