The flame is lit for the inaugural YOG at the birthplace of the Olympics (Singapore 2010)
(ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge says the lighting of the flame for the Singapore Youth Olympics at Ancient Olympia today marks "a new beginning for the Olympic Movement".
The Singapore YOG flame was lit using the sun's rays at the famed Temple of Hera by an actress dressed as an ancient priestess.
"With this flame we are charting a new path to share Olympic values and the joy of sport with young people around the world," Rogge said at the ceremony Friday.
Rogge said the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore, taking place Aug. 14-26, are another important step in the evolution of the Olympic Movement.
"By combining sport, education and culture in a global forum the Youth Olympic Games will give the world's best young athletes a chance to compete, to learn and share experiences with other young people," he said.
"It will serve as a gateway to a wider world that will improve their skills on the field of play and in the more important field of life."
Rogge thanked the Singapore organizers, international federations and national Olympic committees for their hard work in helping to deliver the Singapore 2010 project.
Ser Miang NG, chair of the Singapore YOG organizing committee, said the lighting of the flame blazed a trail towards the opening of the Games next month.
"We envision a Games where the youth of the world will learn to appreciate the Olympic values and put them into practice in their daily lives and inspire others in their communities to do likewise," he said.
Hellenic Olympic committee President Spyros Capralos also addressed the audience made up of IOC members and sports leaders from the Olympic Movement. Singapore's sports minister Vivian Balakrishnan and representatives of the Greek government attended the ceremony along with IOC's coordination commission chairman for Singapore, Sergey Bubka, and YOG ambassador Yelena Isinbayeva.
The YOG flame will now journey to one city in each continent on a 13-day trek. It starts in Berlin Saturday and travels to Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul before arriving
Singapore Aug. 6 for a six-day torch relay around the island nation.
As the partner of the Olympic flame's journey, Samsung will present a host of activities at city celebrations in each of the cities.
Around 3,500 athletes aged 14-18 will take part in the Singapore YOG.
With reporting from Mark Bisson
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