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SINGAPORE 201036 OLYMPIC REVIEW"We have youngsters helping us to design the Opening Ceremony"EricTan,SYOGOCChiefOperatingOfficerStretching for the finishing line

volunteering, developing mascots and offering theirideas and suggestions, all of which has provedinvaluable to Tan and his team."The public has been involved from the verybeginning," Tan says. "We have youngsters coming to give us inputand designing the Opening Ceremony. We askedthem, 'what is the meaning of theOlympic Games to you -14-year-olds? What would you liketo see on the stage, who wouldyou like to see?', and that helpedus a lot."So with a fire-themed malelion named "Lyo" and a water-themed female merlion named"Merly" chosen as the mascotswhat else have the public beenhelping with? Another aspect is the roleof sports presenters. Director of theSports and Venues Division at SYOGOCPatrick Lee and his colleagues ?OLYMPIC REVIEW37SINGAPORE 2010wo years ago, whenSingapore beat Moscow to the enviable task ofhosting the very first Youth OlympicGames, there was little time tocelebrate the achievement ofwinning the bidding process. Withno specific blueprint to follow,organisers feared it could haveproved a tricky task to complete,but the Singapore Youth OlympicGames Organising Committee(SYOGOC) Chief Operating OfficerEric Tan did not bank on the hugesupport the event has received from the public in the South East Asian City State.While Tan and his team set to work on doing allthe unsung work, such as catering for 3,600 hungryathletes, finding places for competitors and visitors to stay, arranging crowd control, transportation ofathletes, writing Games policies and establishingdecision making bodies, the public have been busyThe final preparations have been made andthe countdown to the inaugural YouthOlympic Games(YOG) is in the homestraight, reports Patrick Johnston fromReuters' Singapore bureau