Destination Argentina

Juegos Olímpicos de la Juventud

By: Julia Henríquez
Photos: Demian Colman, Guido Martini, Pablo Elías

The Olympic flame has burned bright across Argentina since August 5th. The flame, symbolizing respect, friendship, and excellence, will travel over 8,700 miles in 17 relays to reach Buenos Aires, the city that will host the Youth Olympics on October 6. Hundreds of public cultural and sporting activities will be showcased as the five rings that represent the unity of the five continents of the world take over the capital city, creating a giant urban circuit. Four popular Buenos Aires parks will get a new look for the sporting event.

Urbano Park

Rowing, Canoeing, Cycling, Sport Climbing, DanceSport, 3×3 Basketball

One of the city’s youngest neighborhoods, Puerto Madero, is a perfect blend of urban modernity, history, and the outdoors. The neighborhood was built on the site of the city’s long-abandoned old port and the docks were turned into striking recreation centers. Families biking, skating, or strolling the riverside streets are a common sight on sunny days. When the sun begins to go down, the restaurants and bars fill with people enjoying the sunset and local cuisine.


One of the city’s most famous sites is Santiago Calatrava’s Woman’s Bridge, the shape of which suggests a woman dancing the tango. Since it is a popular spot for taking pictures to commemorate quinceañeras (15th birthday celebrations), graduations, and weddings, it is not unusual to witness touching scenes here.

The frigate Presidente Sarmiento, now moored in Puerto Madero as a museum, was the country’s first training ship. It is a virtual compendium of Argentinean naval history.

The streets of this neighborhood —now undergoing urban renewal— are named for Argentinean women known for their fortitude and talent. Featuring sculptures and elegant buildings, Mujeres Argentinas Park (opened in 2007) is a combination of amphitheater, stadium, and nature preserve that blurs the boundaries between urban landscaping, construction, and untouched nature.

Verde Park

Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Triathlon, Futsal, Equestrian Sports

The Argentinean capital is known for the many trees that line its most important avenues. While the buildings, pizzerias, and cafés may be a hundred years old, the trees that provide shade during the broiling summers are so old it is impossible to decide whether the city was designed to be green or whether greenery simply triumphed over the years. The urban landscape is leafy year-round because the various species present were chosen to be dormant or active during different seasons. A perfect example of how important plants are to this city is Bosques de Palermo, nearly 200 acres of green space intended for recreation.

Construction on what is considered the city’s largest park began in 1874 under President Domingo Sarmiento; the park opened in 1875 and was refashioned in 1895 by Carlos Thays, one of the city’s famous landscape artists. The woods and two man-made lakes now constitute a popular gathering place for athletes and families in search of recreation. Weekends see picnics and celebrations, with activities on both land and water.

Verde Park, which pays tribute to the importance of caring for nature, is also home to the National Center of High-Performance Athletics (CeNARD), a training facility for the country’s Olympic athletes; the Argentina Riding Center, where jumping competitions and training sessions have been held since 1940; and the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club (dating to 1892), a bastion of tennis tradition that hosts international-level championships.

Sarmiento and Tecnópolis 

Beach Handball, Archery, Shooting (Sarmiento).Badminton, Table Tennis, Futsal (Tecnópolis)

On the outskirts of the city, between the Capital District and the province of Buenos Aires, lies this site split by the General Paz highway: Parque Sarmiento in the city and Tecnópolis in the province.

Opened in 1981, Sarmiento Park offers some 173 acres of space, most of which is used for sports. Its six soccer fields, two fields for Basque pelota, two handball courts, twelve (cement) tennis courts, a beach volleyball court, a softball field, two Olympic-size swimming pools, and facilities for track and field, roller sports, and BMX make the park ideal for this event.

The park is also a favorite of families, who gather here around the BBQ to savor the famed Argentinean grilled meats. A preference for the outdoors definitely runs in the blood of Buenos Aires residents, who turn their backs on the concrete jungle on weekends and set out to enjoy other facets of the city.

On the other side of the highway sits Tecnópolis, built on the site of a former army barracks. It is now an exhibit, park, and open-air museum of science, technology, industry, and art. The idea of the park emerged from a small temporary exhibit held as part of the country’s bicentennial celebrations; the exhibit was permanently relocated to Bicentennial Park, where it now stays open most of the year (it closes in summer).

Defying easy description, the park contains 124 acres of huge pavilions designed to entertain and educate adults and children alike about various fields of science. Children can study the inner workings of the human body, view dinosaurs to scale, see how the country’s most important crops are grown, and participate in a simulation of drilling for oil, while adults can go into each subject in depth. Tecnópolis not only boasts cutting-edge technology, but also professional specialist guides who can provide accurate information to anyone wishing to learn more than the interactive signs can teach.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are temporary handicrafts fairs, concerts, gastronomic events, and workshops of every kind throughout the year.

Youth Olympics Park

The Olympic Village, designed to house more than 7,000 people, will host 16 different sports. The headquarters of the Games was purpose-built for the event in Villa Soldati, across from the Olympic Village.

The 80-acre Julio A. Roca Sports Park was refurbished to meet strict standards of sustainable construction. The park was designed in this far-flung corner of the city partly in order to promote development in the area, but also to provide recreational opportunities for residents and Argentinean athletes. It is always open to the public. Some competitions and activities will take place at secondary sites like the San Isidro Boating Club, the Hurlingham Club, Paseo de la Costa Park, and the San Isidro Athletic Club (La Boya).

The Youth Olympics will feature cultural and sporting activities for everyone. The activities are free, but require prior online registration, and the audience will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis.


For further information on the Games, visit


How to Get There

Copa Airlines offers you seven flights a day to Buenos Aires from North, Central, And South America and the Caribbean through its Hub of the Americas in Panama City. For entry to the sporting events, you need to sign up on line for a free Youth Olympics Pass.

More information:,









Para más información sobre el evento visite


Cómo llegar

Desde Norte, Centro, Suramérica y el Caribe, Copa Airlines le ofrece siete vuelos diarios a Buenos Aires a través de su Hub de las Américas en Ciudad de Panamá.  Para ingresar a las actividades deportivas es necesario hacer un registro en línea que le dará derecho al Pase Olímpico de la Juventud, sin costo alguno.

Mayor información:,