Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Comments on article: InfopediaTalk
Singapore hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 14 to 26 August 2010. During the event, an estimated 3,600 athletes, between 14 to 18 years old, competed in 26 sports. The event involved National Olympic Committees from 205 countries and 20,000 local and international volunteers, and attracted about 370,000 spectators.
First mooted in 2001 by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, and approved in 2007 by IOC members, the Youth Olympic Games complements the Olympic Games by promoting cross-cultural interaction, understanding and learning among young athletes. Like the Olympics Games, summer and winter versions of the YOG are held every four years.
Bid to host the Games
When the IOC launched the YOG bid process in 2007, Singapore was one of 11 cities that indicated an interest in hosting the Games. The other candidate cities included Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Athens, Greece; and Moscow, Russia. Singapore submitted a bid package comprising 50 bid books, 25 CDs, and a file containing photographs, maps and letters of guarantee from various government agencies. Singapore was subsequently chosen to host the YOG, beating rival candidate Moscow by 53 to 44 votes. The announcement was broadcast live from IOC headquarters, and was received with great fanfare in Singapore.
Organising the Games
The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) was set up to oversee preparations for the event. The committee was led by Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the SYOGOC, and Teo Ser Luck, Permanent Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports. The committee also included former and current sportsmen such as hockey player Annabel Pennefather, sprinter C. Kunalan and sailor Koh Seng Leong.
A budget of S$106 million was initially set aside to cover the cost of staging the Games, but in July 2010, the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) announced that projected spending had more than tripled to S$387 million. The increased budget was due to a rise in the costs of logistics and transport, security and upgrades of the various sports venues and technology.
The international exposure and economic benefits that Singapore gained from the event were considerable. The Games were expected to attract up to 40,000 foreign visitors and generate an estimated $57 million in tourism. About S$260 million worth of contracts, some 70% of the total budget, were awarded to local providers of services such as food, transport, security and exhibitions.
Both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were staged at The Float@Marina Bay, the world’s largest floating stage, located on the waters of Marina Reservoir and against the backdrop of Singapore icons such as the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and Helix Bridge.
Athletes were housed at the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) located at the Nanyang Technological University. Competition events took place at venues around the island, including the Singapore Sports School, International Convention Centre, and National Sailing Centre. To facilitate the transport of athletes between the YOV and competition venues, the Olympic logo was painted on selected road lanes so that motorists would give way to special YOG vehicles.
Promoting the Games
The YOG had a number of elements that created a distinct profile for the inaugural event in Singapore. The YOG mascots were Lyo (pronounced “Leo”), a lion cub with a fiery mane, and Merly, a merlion cub, both representing animals that are often linked with Singapore. The Singapore 2010 logo featured a lively figure in red, purple and green. Because Singapore was the first host of the YOG, the livery of the Singapore 2010 logo will be featured on the ceremonial flag for subsequent handovers between future YOG organisers. The official YOG theme song, “Everyone”, was sung by artists representing five continents and produced by local music producer Ken Lim.
As part of the IOC’s Culture and Education Programme, 30 athletes, including swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt, were selected to be Young Ambassadors to promote the YOG in their countries. In addition, athletes had the opportunity to mingle at the Youth Olympic Village with 46 former Olympians who had been appointed Athlete Role Models.
To create greater awareness of the event, in particular among a young, Internet-savvy audience, the IOC launched an extensive campaign using social media tools such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter. Other public education efforts included the establishment of a YOG Learning Centre at the SYOGOC headquarters, and the creation of a television documentary, "Beyond Gold: The Journey to the first Youth Olympic Games".
Preparations for the Games
The official Games timekeeper, Omega, installed two Countdown Clocks, one at the historic City Hall building and the other at the ION mall at Orchard Road. Building and lamppost banners, billboards, pillar wraps and posters were put up in public areas, and road shows featuring performances, games and the YOG mascots were held at various locations. Approximately 320,000 tickets went on sale in March 2010 and were sold out within weeks, prompting the release of more tickets for sale in July and during the Games.
The Olympic flame was lit in Greece in July before travelling to cities representing five continents. To mark its arrival in Singapore, a celebration was held at the National University of Singapore. Over the following six days, some 2,400 Singaporeans carried the flame to all parts of the island in a traditional torch relay before the flame was used to light the cauldron at the Games Opening Ceremony.
Olympic honours for Singapore
The Singapore Olympic contingent was led by Chef-de-Mission James Wong, a nine-time Southeast Asian Games Gold medallist. A total of 130 athletes represented Singapore across all 26 sports. Singapore finished the Games with seven medals – two silver medals for swimming and table-tennis, two bronze medals for taekwondo, and one bronze medal each for archery, sailing and football.
The IOC conferred upon President S. R. Nathan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the Olympic Order in Gold for successfully hosting the inaugural YOG. The Olympic Order in Silver was conferred on eight officials, among these Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and president of the SNOC, and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
6 Jul 2007 : IOC approves the creation of the Youth Olympic Games.
24 Oct 2007 : Singapore submits a bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
21 Feb 2008 : IOC announces that Singapore will host the YOG in 2010.
22 Feb 2008 : Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee is established.
9 Jan 2009 : Official YOG logo is launched.
12 Mar 2010 : YOG torch and community cauldron are unveiled.
31 Mar 2010: Tickets for competition events go on sale.
5 Aug 2010 : Olympic flame arrives in Singapore for a six-day tour of the island.
14 Aug 2010 : The lighting of the Youth Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony marks the commencement of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
26 Aug 2010 : The Youth Olympic Flame is extinguished and the Olympic flag lowered at the Closing Ceremony to mark the end of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The flag is handed to the mayor of Nanjing, China, the host city for the 2014 YOG.
Joanna HS Tan
Ang, J. (2010, September 1). A heroes' welcome. The Straits Times. Retrieved on September 6, 2010, from Factiva.
Chuang, P. M. (2009, August 28). Omega to keep watch on Youth Olympic Games. The Business Times. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Gao, C. (2010, March 12). Singapore unveils Youth Olympic Games torch design. Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Gao, C. (2009, March 27). Flame for Youth Olympic Games to travel five continents. Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Gao, P. (2010, June 23). Social media connecting world to Youth Olympic Games. Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Low, L. F. (2010, July 2). YOG flame to mark six-day journey around S'pore. TODAY. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Mustafa Shafawi. (2010, August 27). Olympic Order in Silver for eight Singaporeans. TODAY. Retrieved on September 6, 2010, from Factiva.
Organisers unveil torch for Youth Olympic Games. (2010, March 12). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Singapore Roundup. (2010, March 26). The Business Times. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Singapore's Youth Olympic Games Committee launches logo, website. (2007, October 16). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Singapore to host the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010. (2008, February 25). News Press. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Singh, P. (2010, April 1). Already, some ‘hot’ tickets for Youth Olympics. TODAY. Retrieved on September 6, 2010, from Factiva.
Social media connecting world to Youth Olympic Games. (2010, June 23). Philippines News Agency. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
S'pore, Moscow in final showdown to host Youth Olympic Games. (2008, January 21). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Tan, Y-H. (2008, February 20). All set for a big party; Win or lose, S'pore will welcome Youth Olympic Games announcement with a bash at the Padang. TODAY. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Tan, Y-H. (2010, February 12). Ion clock ticks down to August’s Youth Olympic Games. TODAY. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
Team S'pore put up "incredible" YOG performance, says Chef-de-Mission. (2010, August 27).Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved on September 6, 2010, from Factiva.
Wong, J. (2010, July 7). YOG budget triples to $387m, local firms get lion's share. The Straits Times. Retrieved on July 20, 2010, from Factiva.
YOG: Sold-out events see spike in fans getting last-minute tickets. (2010, August 19). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved on September 6, 2010, from Factiva.
Blazing the trail: Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games official report. (2010). Singapore: Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
Singapore 2010 candidature file Vols 1 & 2. (2007). Singapore: Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
(Call no.: RSING 796.48 SIN v.1 and RSING 796.48 SIN v.2)
Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. (2008). Accessed on July 20, 2010, at http://www.singapore2010.sg/public/sg2010/en.html
The information in this article is valid as at 2010 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Events>>Historical Periods>>Independence and Nation-Building (1965-)
Youth Olympic Games (1st : 2010 : Singapore)
Hosting of sporting events--Singapore
Sports, recreation and travel>>Olympic games