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  • One Year Until Inaugural Youth Olympic Games


    Organizers of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games held a ceremony at City Hall on Friday to mark one year to go. (SYOGOC)
    (ATR) A celebration in Singapore marks the one year countdown  until the first Youth Olympic Games.

    More than 5,000 revelers turned out at the Padang – a large field in the center of the Singapore where, historically, large public gatherings take place – to celebrate the beginning of the 365-day countdown.

    The evening’s entertainment featured the unveiling of a 10 meter tall countdown clock on the steps of City Hall, courtesy of the official timekeeper for the inaugural YOG, Swiss watchmaker Omega.

    A pyrotechnics display was the backdrop to mark the occasion, kicking off at precisely 8:10 P.M, or 2010h.

    Celebrations kicked-off earlier in the evening, with a YOG carnival at the Padang promoting various sports and an Olympic Day Run which drew more than 3,000 entrants.

    Singapore’s the Straits Times reports that guest of honor, Coordinating Minister for National Security, S Jayakumar, who was the guest of honor at the event, said he was moved by the occasion.

    “If anyone has any doubts about the support, enthusiasm and spirit of the young for the Youth Olympic Games, they should come here and listen to all of you,' the senior government figure was quoted.

    “It is this spirit, these vibes and your support that we need from now till the Youth Olympic Games takes place, and I'll have no doubt that you will maintain your enthusiasm.”

    The IOC says that since planning and preparations began 17 months ago, the Singapore Organizing Committee (SYOGOC) has made excellent progress and is on track to deliver a memorable inaugural YOG.

    The IOC Coordinating Commission has expressed confidence in the organizational progress made in Singapore to date.

    According to the IOC, it will continue, in the remaining 365 days to the Games, to work closely with the
    IOC Executive Board member Ser Miang Ng left the meeting in Berlin Thursday to fly back to Singapore for the YOG events. (ATR/Panasonic/Lumix)
    Organizing Committee to ensure the event’s success.

    “Today signifies our one-year mark from the YOG and we are excited to see the crowd that turned up for this evening’s celebration,” chief executive officer of games organizer, SYOGOC, Goh Kee Nguan said in his address.

    “We thank everyone, who is here tonight, for coming onboard with us on the Singapore 2010 journey. Delivering this once in a life-time international YOG that we can be proud of will require the participation of everyone, especially the people in Singapore.

    “For those who have
    yet to join us, we hope that you will do so soon. Together, we can deliver a meaningful and memorable YOG.”

    As part of the effort to stimulate enthusiasm for the event, organizers also launched a campaign which urges the public to help name the Games mascots, which will launch in the fourth quarter of 2009.

    Members of the public are being asked to submit their name ideas up until September 6, through the internet at

    “We are looking for unique names which reflect youthfulness, are relevant to the mascot characters and easy to pronounce,” Nguan said.

    Singapore will host the YOG from August 14 to 26 next year, with an estimated, 3,600 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 to attend, from 205 NOCs.

    About 800 media representatives are expected to cover the event, with 20,000 volunteers being utilized in Games-related roles and 500,000 spectators expected across all events.

    Written by Anthony Stavrinos.

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