List of Youth Olympic Sports A-Z

List of Youth Olympic Sports

Youth Olympic sports are only one part of the ten-plus days of events that make up the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The other main elements of the YOG are activities in education, debate, and cultural exchange. Athletes in the Youth Olympics are between the ages of 14 and 18, and come from countries around the world. A Youth Olympics was first proposed in 1998, primarily as a method to combat rising childhood obesity.

After approval from the International Olympics Committee, an organizing partner, in 2007, the first (summer) Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore in August 2010. Like the Olympics, sports in the Youth Olympics are divided between Summer Games and Winter Games. The first Winter Games followed in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012. Each sport is also subdivided into three age groups to promote fair competition. Summer games typically draw over 3,000 competitors, while Winter Games see between 1,000 and 2,000 athletes compete. Unlike the Olympics, some Youth Olympic sports, such as fencing, table tennis, archery, triathlon, and swimming, allow mixed-gender and mixed national teams.


What are Youth Olympic sports?

Youth Olympic sports are all athletic competitions included in the Youth Olympic Games. Like the Olympics, the Youth Olympics are divided into alternating Summer Games and Winter Games, with a Youth Olympics occurring every two years. The Youth Olympic Games are a partnership with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), and Youth Olympic sports are based on the sports in the Olympics. Some sports receive extensive modifications from the original, such as futsal and inline speed skating. 

Gymnastics, track and field, and swimming are the most popular Youth Olympic sports. These sports are aesthetically beautiful, fast-paced, and easy to understand, all of which contribute to a large following.  3x3 basketball, beach volleyball, futsal, rowing, archery, and table tennis are highly beloved. Combat sports are also well-liked, including judo, taekwondo, and wrestling. The newest Youth Olympic sports are breakdancing and sport climbing.

What Youth Olympic sports are not in the Olympics?

Only a few Youth Olympic sports are not represented in the Olympics. The sports not included in the Summer Olympics are baseball, beach handball, futsal, and inline speed skating. The only sport not in the Winter Games is ski mountaineering. Even among these Youth Olympic sports, most have a similar or equivalent sport in the Olympics. For example, beach handball in the Youth Olympics is similar to handball in the Olympics.