Young athletes use Youth Olympic Games as springboard to London 2012
It has been one year since the start of the first Youth Olympic Games (YOG), and now some of the 3,600 athletes who competed at the event in Singapore are capitalising on the time spent there as they set their sights on the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With qualifying events for the London Games taking place around the world, the young Olympic hopefuls say the vital experience they gained at Singapore 2010 – both in competition and out – has aided their development and made them more prepared for international competition when up against older athletes.
“Through the Youth Olympic Games, I feel that I took one step further, like crossing a hurdle,” said the first Youth Olympic Games gold medal winner, triathlete Yuka Sato of Japan. “It gave me confidence to stand at starting grids with some pride, even in elite races.”
Boxer Tony Yoka of France, also a gold medal winner at Singapore 2010, said he was thankful for his involvement at the Youth Olympic Games. “I hope to qualify for the Olympic Games in London,” he said. “[The Youth Olympic Games] prepared me by giving me experience and enabled me to win a gold medal and, above all, gain in self-confidence.”
The world’s best athletes aged 14 to 18 took part in the Singapore 2010 Games. They were accompanied by 1,850 officials, and some 20,000 volunteers helped make the organisational aspect of the Games a success. Ambassadors Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Yelena Isinbayeva acted as mentors to the athletes through a promotional campaign, while over 30 Olympic and World Champions attended the Games as Athlete Role Models, offering first-hand advice to athletes in the Village.
The 50 Culture and Education Programme activities that were an integral part of the YOG were extremely popular with the athletes, and, over the duration of the 12 days, almost all of the 3,600 athletes visited the World Anti-Doping Agency and UNAIDS booths in the Youth Olympic Village.
Note to Editors:
The Youth Olympic Games in Singapore helped a great number of athletes prepare for their future Olympic careers. If you wish to cover their stories as they prepare for the London Games, please check out our broadcast-quality footage of Singapore 2010 and interviews with the following YOG alumni: Sam Oldham (Great Britain), Jade Jones (Great Britain), Yuka Sato (Japan), Tony Yoka (France), Alexander Massialas (USA), Nathan Schrimsher (USA), Aleix Heredia (Spain), Ibrahim Sabry (Egypt) and Mariana Avitia (Mexico).
Should you wish to interview other athletes who participated in the Singapore 2010 YOG and who are training to qualify for London 2012, please do not hesitate to contact us at the numbers below.
For accreditation to the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, in January 2012, please click here.