Children take the start in a 100m race on an athletics track installed on the River Seine in Paris, France, June 23, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jerusalem will host the International Children’s Games next summer, an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event held every year where children from cities around the world and between the ages of 12 and 15 participate in a variety of sports and cultural activities.
This year’s edition ended in Kaunas, Lithuania, last week and representatives from Jerusalem were given the Games’ symbolic torch at the closing ceremony.
Mayor Nir Barkat and president of the ICG Torsten Rasch met in Jerusalem on Wednesday, signing the official host city agreement.
“We are very happy that Jerusalem will host the ICG in 2018. It is an honor for us to sign this agreement,” said Rasch. “Beyond the sporting competitions, it is important that the host city will embrace the children and promote fair play, tolerance and values between children from around the world.”
The Slovenian sports instructor Metod Klemenc founded the International Children’s Games in 1968, organizing the first Games and cultural festival with teams from nine European cities.
Since that time, 37,000 children aged 12 to 15 have been in competition at 47 Summer Games and six Winter Games. 411 different cities, 86 countries and all five continents have participated.
“We are excited Jerusalem has been chosen as the host city,” said Barkat. “This is a great opportunity to present Jerusalem and Israel in a positive context through sports.”