Mexican IOC member Mario Vasquez Rana lit the cauldron for the Youth Olympic Flame in Mexico City. (Singapore 2010)
YOF Lands in Mexico
The Youth Olympic Flame landed in Mexico City, its third stop of its five continent journey.
The Flame spent two days in the city that hosted the 1968 Olympics.
“Mexico was the first Latin-American host of the Olympic Games in 1968,” Ser Miang Ng, Chairman of the SYOGOC said.
“Through the journey of the Youth Olympic Flame, we hope to connect and inspire the youth of the Americas to continue to embrace and live the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.”
“In the same way that Mexico City paved the way for the Olympic Movement to take root in the Americas, I hope that Mexico City will also take the lead in inspiring young people to embrace and express the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect in their daily lives.” Ng continued.
The Flame was greeted by 42 youngsters as it arrived at the private college, Ibero-American University.
Around 6,000 fans greeted the Youth Olympic Flame. (Singapore 2010)
During its visit, the flame traveled to a community center for less privileged children in Iztapalapa, the Ecoguarda Center where Mexicans learn about protecting their environment and Hidalgo Garden in Coyoacan.
The Flame also made a stop at the Angel of Independence. One hundred Mariachi musicians dressed in traditional Mexican charro suits played a traditional birthday song for the Flame.
Despite a rainy day, the city celebration in the historic Plaza de la Constitucion was able to proceed when the rain stopped.
The YOF, along with 6,000 spectators, then went to Government Palace of Mexico.
“We are very impressed by the passion, energy and enthusiasm of the youths that we have met over the last two days,” Ng said at the city celebration.
The Youth Olympic Flame has enjoyed trips to Berlin, Germany and Dakar, Senegal. It will now travel to Auckland, New Zealand, representing Oceania.
IOC to Rule on Diver
The IOC will decide if a Malaysian diver can arrive late to the Youth Olympic Games, something currently not allowed.
Rules for accommodation stipulate that a competitor must stay for the entirety of the YOG to receive boarding at the Games.
However Pandelela Rinong is also training for the Commonwealth Games, taking place in October. Rinong was a surprise bronze medalist at the diving world championships in Rome last year.
Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi wrote to the IOC asking for an exemption so Rinong could
training in Malaysia.
“She is a medal prospect at the New Delhi Games and losing one week of training time will certainly affect her preparation,” Kok Chi told local media.
“The Youth Olympics is being held for the first time. There are many new rules that have been introduced. In fact, it does not only serve as a competitive platform for the athletes but the organizers also want it to be an educational stay for these youths.
“That is why they want all the athletes to stay throughout the competition to participate in various activities prepared by them.”
The OCM asked if Rinong could arrive Aug. 19. The Games are scheduled for Aug. 14 – 26.
With reporting from Isia Reaves
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