(ATR) The Prime Minister of Singapore assures timely delivery of the proposed Youth Olympic Village and a group of 2010 bid volunteers take issue with comments from Moscow.
At a groundbreaking ceremony for the National University of Singapore's University Town residential complex on Jan. 31, Singapore PM Hsien Loong Lee said the Youth Olympic Games would make a "fabulous launch" for the proposed Village.
|The University Town complex is scheduled for completion in February 2010. (NUS)
"We are a young nation and a small city state, but we have built a trusted brand name internationally as a reliable partner, able to get things done, and deliver on what we promise," he said.
Lee also addressed concerns raised by IOC experts in November about the risks involved in completing a major project in time for the Games.
"For this first Youth Olympics, I am confident that we can deliver a high-quality, memorable event that will celebrate the spirit of the Games," Lee continued.
On the same day as Lee's speech, the Today
tabloid newspaper printed a letter from a group of young people supporting the Singapore bid. The young YOG volunteers take issue with a Jan. 23 article that quoted Moscow YOG external affairs director Alexander Chernov saying, "Singapore can host the second Youth Olympics … we want the special honor of organizing the first edition."
|The International Convention Centre is a key venue for indoor sports in the Singapore bid. (ATR)
The five letter-writers – who call themselves YOGers – say a Moscow Games would send a discouraging signal to smaller cities looking to host future YOGs.
"While we are proud to be competing against an established city such as Moscow, this little island has beaten the odds repeatedly and will gladly face another challenge," the volunteers write.
"To paraphrase Mr. Chernov's comment, we say that 'Moscow can host the second Youth Olympic Games in 2014, Singapore YOGers want the special honour of organising the first edition'," they conclude.
Singapore bid leader Ser Luck Teo says the YOGers wrote the letter themselves and caught the committee by surprise.
"We know how much our citizens are supporting this bid. We know how much impact it would have in a city like Singapore as well as the region. That drives us. It is not just the bid team but our citizens, corporations, volunteers and many young and old are all involved in this race for Singapore," Teo tells Around the Rings.
The host of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games will be decided by an IOC postal vote, with results to be announced on Feb. 21. Written by Maggie Lee
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