Like many of the protesters at the 2022 World Youth Games, some of them were born after the USSR dissolved

LONDON — They came from London, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, and New York, not to be identified by city for fear of publicly protesting China’s new sports stadium. They all arrived at the Olympic park today to protest the sponsorship deals that the hosts of the 2022 World Youth Games have with state-owned companies.

The protesters, including members of local youth groups and human rights organizations, gathered in the park’s plazas and the park’s neighborhood and called for the renunciation of the deal.

“It’s a shame, really, that there is such a corporate ‘wow’ factor surrounding this event,” said Martin Silk, a student at Earlham College in Melbourne, who traveled to London to take part in the protest. “But we want to make sure that this stadium doesn’t compromise the integrity of the next youth games.”

Julie Peterson, who manages the youth games in Norway, said she was aware of the backlash against the sponsorship deals but said that the sponsors would be needed to host the tournament. In addition to the four sponsors, other companies underwriting the games include ARM Group, through its NXP Semiconductors division; Audi AG, and Open Network Solutions.

“Even those who are critical of this deal know that we need to have a partnership like this,” Ms. Peterson said. “If they are looking for the big companies who will go up to these young people and help them, that’s what the youth games are all about.”

With the sponsors’ logos slapped on the banners and flags of the protesters, the group’s demand was for Australia, which is hosting the next generation games in 2022, to abandon its deal with the stadium in a nearby city.

The cost of the stadium, known as the Aquatics Park-Arena in Dalian, has been estimated at more than $US1 billion, making it the most expensive sports venue in China’s history. And as the most expensive venue in China’s history, it is the most expensive sporting venue in the world.

Related: Who will lead the protests at the 2022 games?

“I hope that if we’re going to build these sports facilities, then we’re going to have a partner that is not self-interested, that values the democracy of the youth, and that values their voices,” said Rebecca Horn, a protester who traveled from Toronto to take part in the protest.

China can always blame the fact that none of its companies are good enough to actually sponsor the games for why it is building a $US10 billion stadium. Or not building a stadium at all.

The protestors are still hoping that the protests will help to persuade Australia to abandon its deal with the stadium. The Australian Olympic Committee said that it had “always agreed to engage” in conversations with the protestors and that the committee’s National Sports Development committee had “come to a constructive conclusion.”

But Oceania Olympic Committee President Alan Jones, speaking earlier on Monday during a visit to Britain, said that he would not budge. “Don’t threaten me,” he said, referring to the protestors. “Don’t put your signs up if you don’t like my decision.”

Even though the athletes did not need to compete in the stadium for the games in 2022, Mr. Jones said, the games were still about bringing international attention to the games in China and to build brand awareness for the sport.

“I’ve always been clear and consistent, that it’s about the investment in sport in China and the Olympics that it’s about more than brand recognition for the young people in China,” he said. “I do want to see a sporting city that would be a great destination, not only for its hosts, but also for the fans.”

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