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07 Jul 2011
IOC News

YOG DNA showcased at IOC Session

First Youth Olympic Games in Singapore: an outstanding success

Presenting at the IOC Session this afternoon, Ser Miang Ng, IOC Executive Board member and President of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOCOG), and Chris Chan, Secretary General of the Singapore National Olympic Council and Board member of SYOCOG, described the unique and historic journey Singapore went through in the roughly two-and-ahalf years they had to prepare for the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games.

“The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games was a milestone for the IOC as well as for Singapore,” said Ng. “It opened an avenue for the Olympic Movement to engage the young people of the world who otherwise would be more attuned to computer games and a sedentary lifestyle.”

The Singapore Youth Olympic Games, which took place from 14 to 26 August last year, brought together some 3,600 athletes aged from 14 to 18 to compete in 26 sports. The Games were designed not only to stage high-level competition but also to allow young athletes to take part in an extensive Culture and Education Programme (CEP) created especially for them.

There were many firsts in Singapore, including mixed team events comprising boys and girls of different nationalities. These events were extremely popular with the athletes as they allowed them to experience firsthand the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. As an athlete from Trinidad put it: “At the starting line everyone wished each other good luck. It was like one big family.”

The Games in Singapore were fully embraced and supported by three great ambassadors: Yelena Isinbayeva, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

The athletes participating in Singapore 2010 were joined by 27 Young Reporters, who actively provided content to the international media, while 30 Young Ambassadors supported and mentored their national delegations. Over 40 Athlete Role Models from the International Federations and International Olympic Committee also offered advice and tips to the athletes in and around the Athletes’ Village.

Despite venturing beyond sport, the Games did not in any way dilute the quality of the sports competition. On the contrary, they showcased some of the world’s brightest young stars, many of whom are expected to achieve even greater success in London next year.

IOC President Jacques Rogge, who at the Closing Ceremony described the first Youth Olympic Games as “truly inspirational Games”, thanked Singapore for its great efforts and commitment. “Thanks to Singapore, the future of the YOG is bright,” he said. “The YOG are a great asset for the Olympic Movement as they are not only about sporting excellence, but also about culture, education, and building champions on the field of play and also in life. Singapore did a fantastic job. Singapore set an example for the future editions of the Games and inspired millions of young people around the world. We are very grateful for that.”

Coming next: Innsbruck 2012

The Session also received a report from Innsbruck 2012, which will host the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in January.

Innsbruck has already switched to operational mode, with some key venues having already been completed.  The Innsbruck team has been present at all major sporting events this winter and is currently finalising its competition schedule with the seven International Winter Federations.

Innsbruck will benefit from the active support of US Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn, and is developing a series of innovative programmes aimed at promoting the Games among schools throughout Austria. Volunteers from the past Olympic Winter Games held in Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976 have been involved in the preparations for the Games. Culture and Education will, of course, be at the heart of the Games. Building on Singapore’s experience, Innsbruck is working on innovative programmes that will allow the athletes and the public to experience the Olympic values.

Nanjing 2014 – towards a new experience for young athletes

Elected in Vancouver last year, Nanjing 2014 benefited from an extensive observers’ programme in Singapore. The Organising Committee is now gearing up for strategic planning, with the objective of employing some 600 staff and 30,000 volunteers by the time of the Opening Ceremony. The team presented its venue master plan, which integrates the golf and rugby sites. The Culture and Education Programme is currently being designed and, following the success of the logo launch, the Organising Committee is now actively working on securing local partners.

Significant progress has also been made on the Youth Olympic Village, the only key venue that needs to be constructed for the Games. The Games will take place from 16 to 28 August 2014.

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