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09 Feb 2010
Vancouver 2010 , IOC News

Vancouver’s young people kick off the Olympic celebrations in style

The hours are quickly winding down on Vancouver's Olympic countdown clock, and with every second, the anticipation builds for the young people gathering in Vancouver.


Celebrations are already happening on the city’s streets and the young Vancouverites claim to have never seen anything like this in their city before.

“This is something that happens in your own city once in a lifetime” said 18-year-old Vancouver native Tiffany Chan. “I’m personally really proud to be from and in Vancouver for the Games.”

Olympic inspired art adorn the downtown streets of Vancouver for visitors and residents to view, including life-sized athlete cut-outs and replica Olympic sporting equipment, not to mention the giant Olympic countdown clock. “It’s really cool,” exclaimed 10-year-old Talia Wright after she took a picture of the clock.

Nineteen year old former competitive figure skater Olena Strutynska says she plans on celebrating the Vancouver Olympics by taking part in the free festivities and concert happening in the city and volunteering at the Ukrainian pavilion.  She also plans on attending an ice hockey match.
“Sport is important because it helps to build confidence,” said Strutynska who is now a skating instructor who teaches adults, children and teenagers. “Team sport teaches important life skills like teamwork and individual sports give a person a chance to shine.”

For YOG athletes looking for their moment to shine during the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this August, Strutynska advises to not solely focus on competing. “It's not just about winning. It's about making it a memorable experience.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the Youth Olympic Games will bring youth together in the spirit of competition but also in the spirit of friendship. “[Sports] are a fantastic part of growing up and should be a part of every kid’s life.”

By Kimiya Shokoohi, YOG Reporter

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