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03 Nov 2010

Another success for Olympic Week in 2010

Despite somewhat capricious weather and, in particular, almost wintery temperatures, some 4,000 young people signed up for the 40 activities on offer this year. There were more than 20 introductions to Olympic or non-Olympic sports and numerous activities popular with youngsters, such as capoeira, cheerleading, climbing, Nordic Walking, orienteering, lifesaving and road safety.

There were also guided and lively tours of the Athletes and Science temporary exhibition, as well as a Sport and Journalism course, which has been successful since its creation in 2007.
This was led by a professional journalist and a professional photographer, and was fully booked every day. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Gazette of the 30th Olympic Week was published, produced by budding journalists, and containing interviews, photos, anecdotes and much more.

Meeting athletes

This brought together Vincent Defrasne, a regular on Olympic podiums, and four young athletes who had had the opportunity to travel to Singapore to participate in the 1st summer Youth Olympic Games last August. Vincent Defrasne is an Olympic biathlon champion. He won gold and bronze medals at the Turin Games in 2006. He also participated in the Salt Lake City Games (bronze medal) and in the Vancouver Games.

This year, he decided to end his career, and he is now doing a one-year internship at the IOC Sports Department. The four young athletes present were Sébastien Schneiter (sailing), Augustin Maillefer (rowing), Pauline Brunner (fencing) and Eliane Dohner (pistol shooting). Even though they did not win medals, they all really appreciated their stay in Singapore, as well as the Opening Ceremony, the competition venues, the Athletes’ Village and the city itself. One of them even mentioned enjoying the food!

IOC/Nora Rupp

Well-balanced athletes

When Vincent Defrasne mentions his Olympic experience, he naturally speaks of his gold medal, but also of the great emotion he felt as flag-bearer of the French delegation in Vancouver. In their answers to the children’s questions, one can feel the enthusiasm, passion, will and perseverance of these athletes, the four youngest of whom not only step onto international podiums, but also work hard at school. So when a youngster asked whether you need to be intelligent to be an elite athlete and, although Augustin Maillefer answered “Not really”, one can only admire these young people who seem to succeed in everything.

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