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oday's young people have neverknown life without the internet.They have grown up with a mouse in their hands and the world wideweb at their fingertips. In fact, the internethas become such a huge part of theireveryday lives that recent figuresindicated that the average teen spends asmuch as 31 hours per week online.It's little wonder that the IOC is using digitalmedia more and more as a way to engage withyoung people and encourage them to be more activewhen it comes to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).Indeed, with over 1.5 million young fans on the IOC'ssocial-networking site Facebook, and thousandsmore followers on micro-blogging site Twitter, theAs the countdown to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games continues, Olympic Review looks at how digital mediais allowing the IOC to engage with young people around the world like never beforeFacebook pageYOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES30OLYMPIC REVIEW

communicate with each other then they're going tohave a better experience when they actually get tothe Games. It's possible that some of these people will becompeting against each other all the way throughuntil they're seniors, and I think it's always good tohave a friendly rivalry. At the end of the day, rivalryshould be left on the track. I think it's a great way for young people to open their minds, beingperceptive of people from other cultures and nothaving any barriers."The Singapore Youth Olympic Games OrganisingCommittee (SYOGOC) has also been complementingthe IOC's efforts in using digital media to connectwith young people by launching a number of exciting programmes. The Million Deeds Challenge,for example, invited members of the public to shareexamples of when their actions had embodied theOlympic values of excellence, friendship or respect.Each contribution on the Million Deeds Challengewebsite helped move a virtual Olympic Flame a stepcloser on its journey from Greece to Singapore.SYOGOC has also created an online virtual world,Singapore 2010 Odyssey, which enables kids aroundthe world to learn more about sport, culture, theOlympic values and Singapore 2010. Users caninteract with each other in the 3D virtual world, andeven explore the venues in which the action will take place in August. Other initiatives include the WhyOhGee micro-site, which features content developed by youngpeople, such as blogs, photos and videos. Even theSingapore mascots - Lyo and Merly - are getting in on the act, with their own personal Facebookpage, where videos and photos are posted to showtheir fans what events they've been attending in the build-up to Singapore 2010.The Games themselves will have digital media attheir core. Each athlete will be given a handhelddevice called a "Digital Concierge", supplied byWorldwide TOP Partner Samsung, which will keepthem up-to-date with the latest competitioninformation, as well as providing updates fromvenues and the Olympic Village. Other TOP Partners are also supporting theseefforts, with Acer supplying Young Ambassadors andYoung Reporters with a limited edition Olympic laptop so that they can share their experiences withthe world, and Panasonic offering digital cameras to all Young Reporters to help tell their stories fromthe Games. With so many ways to interact and engage, thefirst YOG look set to be a milestone in the IOC'shistory as it embraces digital media like never before.So what are you waiting for? Point your browser at the "Cube" and get involved! ?Singapore 2010. The Youth Olympic Games alsofeatures on the IOC's digital platforms, which willprovide on-line coverage of the Games-time action.The IOC has made "Expression through digitalmedia" one of the five educational themes of theCulture and Education Programme at the YouthOlympic Games, and has launched a number ofsocial and digital media initiatives.As well as Facebook and Twitter, the IOC haslaunched an innovative YOG micro-site, known as the"Cube". This dynamic platform, which incorporatesthe new YOG-DNA visual identity, features the latestnews about the Youth Olympic Games, the sport andculture and education programmes. This platform also provides links to exciting initiatives such as theBest of Us Challenge and Medal Design Competition,which have both enjoyed huge success.The Best of Us Challenge, which forms part of theIOC's Best of Us campaign, has proved particularlypopular - attracting over 3.5 million views on YouTube,as users attempt to beat sporting challenges that havebeen set by current and past Olympians, including YOG Ambassadors, Michael Phelps and YelenaIsinbayeva. The prizes on offer include memorabiliasigned by Olympians and a trip for two to Singapore for the inaugural YOG. The Medal Design Competition,meanwhile, offered members of the public the once-in-a-lifetime chance to design the medals forSingapore 2010. The contest attracted entriesfrom more than 34 countries,with all the designs postedonline, allowing internet usersto vote for their favourites.The 10 designs that receivedthe most public votes werethen presented to an IOC jury,who selected the winner. Another aspect of the Cubeis the Participants section,which allows YOG athletes,Young Ambassadors and YoungReporters to upload their ownpersonal profiles and videos."Of course, we want the best athletes to come toSingapore, but we want them to do more than justcompete," explains Gilbert Felli, IOC ExecutiveDirector of Olympic Games. "We also want toencourage interactivity between the kids who arecompeting and those watching at home - the webprovides a fantastic platform to make this possible."This unique platform is something that couldreally enrich the YOG experience, according toOlympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes."Sport should be something that unites people,"she says. "If you can help young peopleOlympic Games has already taken the social mediaworld by storm - and now the Youth Olympic Gamesis doing the same. February saw the launch of the YOG's very ownFacebook and Twitter pages, with both attractingmore and more followers each day, enabling youngpeople to keep up-to-date with all the latest news,videos, photos and events in the build-up toThe CubeDIGITAL MEDIAOLYMPIC REVIEW31