The Youth Olympic Games is planned to be an international multi-sport event where athletes aged 14 to 18 will participate, complimenting the current Olympic Games. The idea for such an event was envisioned in 2001 by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge. The Games will be about much more about sports. It will involve a host of educational and cultural activities too as well. The first summer session will be hosted in Singapore. Officials of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (http://www.singapore2010.sg/night/index.htm) answered some of our queries.
Q- What is the vision of the Youth Olympic Games?
During its session in Guatemala in July 2007, the IOC decided to create a new sporting event – the Youth Olympic Games – to educate, engage and influence young athletes, inspiring them to play an active role in their communities. The vision of the Youth Olympic Games is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values.
Singapore has the honour to be the host city for the first Youth Olympic Games. As the host city of the first Games, we have the opportunity to co-construct the Games with the IOC and organise it in collaboration with the 26 International Federations and 205 National Olympic Committees.
Q- How can the Games help promote IOC’s Olympic Movement and ideas of peace and education?
The Youth Olympic Games is more than just a competition. It’s about integrating Sports with Culture and Education and celebrating the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.The Culture and Education Programme which is unique to the YOG as a high-level sports event was set up to complement the sports programme, and is the key platform which the IOC will leverage on to provide “a unique, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience” for young athletes and participants gathered from all over the world. During the Youth Olympic Games, athletes will have the unique opportunity to hold dialogues on important issues, contribute to the local community and share experiences through the various Arts and Culture activities.
Before the Games, Singapore students will learn about Olympic Values and at least 4 Olympic Sports through the Olympic Education Programme in schools.
Q- Would all the events that happened in Beijing Olympics be included in YOG 2010 as well? Could you tell us briefly what kind of event YOG 2010 is envisaged to be? Do you think holding Olympics for kids could actually be tougher than holding one for adults?
The sports programme for the Youth Olympic Games comprises 26 sports which will take place around 19 sports venues in Singapore, turning Singapore into one big sporting arena.
During the Games, there will be a series of community events, exhibitions and performances that will bring the Olympic festivities and experience beyond the competition venues to different parts of Singapore so that everyone can be part of the Youth Olympic Games experience.
The Games aim to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and live by the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.Through interaction with young athletes from different countries, youths will gain a higher awareness of societal issues and a greater appreciation for world culture.The challenge for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee is to actualize that vision.
Q- In the atmosphere of intense competition, could the ill effects of doping be properly emphasized?
Doping is a critical issue in sports. An education programme covering the dangers of doping would be conducted as part the Culture and Education Programme (CEP). SYOGOC would be working closely with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to develop the educational programme.