With a backdrop of towering skyscrapers, the floating stage in the Marina Bay was the perfect setting to kick off the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and welcome the 3,600 athletes who will be competing over the next 12 days.
The 27,000-strong audience was treated to a vibrant and colourful two hour show that showcased Singapore’s cultural diversity, rich history and represented young people worldwide. Throughout the show more than 2000 fireworks were fired from the roof tops of the buildings around the bay.
More than 5000 performers were involved in the Opening Ceremony including children from 47 Singapore schools before welcoming the Youth Olympic Flame from across the water to ignite cauldron atop of the 32-metre high lighthouse – symbolising a guiding light in the harbour.
The inaugural Opening Ceremony was an event of ‘firsts,’ not only did the athletes enter all together, there was also a special oath made on behalf of the coaches.
Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors Yelena Isinbaeva, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt also made brief appearances on the giant screens with video messages to the athletes. Yelena, who was there in person, joined in the Ceremony as a flag bearer of the Olympic Flag.
When asked what his expectations were of the Opening Ceremony, IOC President Jacques Rogge replied, "To see a big smile on the faces of 3,600 athletes." This was certainly true tonight!
See all live events of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games on www.youtholympicgames.org and follow us on www.facebook.com/youtholympicgames.