Lighting of the First-Ever Youth Olympic Flame
23 July 2010, Ancient Olympia, Greece – The Youth Olympic Flame was lit for the first time today in Ancient Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, signalling the start of a round-the-world journey, and a prelude to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Held at the Temple of Hera, the Youth Olympic flame was lit by reflecting sunlight using a parabolic mirror and carried by the High Priestess to the Ancient Stadium for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
At the Ancient Stadium, the Flame was then passed on to four youth torch bearers: Apostolos Koutavas (Greece), Amanda LIM Xiang Qi (Singapore), SILAS Abdul Razak (Singapore) and Nikos Tsiokos (Greece). The Flame was handed over to Mr Spyros CAPRALOS, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, who then handed it to Mr Ser Miang NG, Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC).
Witnessing the Flame Lighting Ceremony for the first Youth Olympic Games were Dr Jacques ROGGE, President of the International Olympic Committee; Mr Spyros ZANNIAS, President of the Olympic Torch Relay Commission; Mr Georgios AIDONIS, Mayor of Ancient Olympia; Dr Vivian BALAKRISHNAN, Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports; Youth Olympic Games Ambassador, Ms Yelena ISINBAYEVA; and Dr Francis CHONG, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SYOGOC.
“It is such an honour to witness the birth of a new initiative for the youth. Although the Flame Lighting Ceremony dates back more than two thousand years, the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect that the Flame represents are still relevant today. We hope that the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will connect youth around the world to the Olympic movement, and inspire them to live by its values,” said Mr Ng.
The Flame Lighting Ceremony in Ancient Olympia kicks-off the 13-day Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame to celebration cities representing five continents around the world. It then arrives in Singapore on 6 August for a traditional six-day torch relay around the island nation. The five cities are:
1. Berlin, Germany representing Europe
2. Dakar, Senegal representing Africa
3. Mexico City, Mexico representing the Americas
4. Auckland, New Zealand representing Oceania
5. Seoul, South Korea representing Asia
At each of the celebration cities, the Flame will journey to significant city landmarks and allow as many people as possible to welcome the Flame to the continent. The day will end off with a City Celebration, where the people of the city and continent can join in the festivities to celebrate the world’s first Youth Olympic Games.
The Flame’s journey will culminate in the torch being brought to the Float@Marina Bay in Singapore, the world’s largest floating stage on 14 August 2010 where it will ignite the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games cauldron as part of the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the Games. Once lit, the Flame will continue to burn brightly throughout the 12 days of the Games until the Closing Ceremony on 26 August 2010.
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