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OLYMPIC REVIEW29YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

Ifeel like an expectant father waiting in the deliveryroom," declared IOC President Jacques Rogge, justhours before the Opening Ceremony of the firstever Youth Olympic Games. Only three years earlier,the idea of creating a new event to inspire andeducate young athletes was being approved at the IOCSession in Guatemala City, and now Rogge's visionwas about to become a reality, as Singapore preparedto host the inaugural edition of the Youth OlympicGames. The city-state had only been named as host in February 2008, and the Singapore Youth OlympicGames Organising Committee, led by Ser Miang Ng,had worked tirelessly for two years to bring the Games to fruition.When the countdown was finally completed, thefirst new Olympic event since the inaugural OlympicWinter Games in 1924 was ready to begin, kickingoff in spectacular fashion with a dazzling OpeningCeremony that took place in the shadow ofSingapore's awe-inspiring skyline. With countless fireworks illuminating the night sky,and spectacular dance routines wowing the assembledcrowd from the world's largest floating stage, thescene was set for the birth of the newest member ofthe Olympic family. With the lighting of the innovative'Tornado Flame' that would burn brightly in Singaporefor the next 12 days, the first Youth Olympic Gameswere finally under way, and the attention shifted to thecity's sporting arenas, where the performances wereno less impressive.Bringing together 3,600 young athletes, agedbetween 14 and 18, Singapore 2010 saw new starsshine brightly and heart-warming stories emerge.Among the eye-catching performances were Chineseswimmer Tang Yi's amazing haul of six gold medals inthe pool, and the three golds and one bronze won byRussian gymnast Viktoria Komova, marking them bothout as undoubted stars of the future. "I'm overwhelmed," said Tang after securing hersixth gold, in the mixed 4x100m medley relay. "I'mgrateful to my coach and the team members for theirencouragement and love."Komova, meanwhile, was already targeting theOlympic Games after her YOG success. "When I was standing on top of the podium I wasextremely happy and proud," she said after winninggold in the all-round event. "It will be easier for me now to prepare for the Olympic Games in London andcompete there."Elsewhere, the Haiti boys' football team made ?30OLYMPIC REVIEWYOUTH OLYMPIC GAMESRightFriendship and fun during the Culture andEducation Programme BelowFierce competitionon the track"WHEN THE COUNTDOWN WAS FINALLY COMPLETED, THE FIRST NEW OLYMPIC EVENT SINCE THE INAUGURAL OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN 1924 WAS READY TO BEGIN, KICKING OFF IN SPECTACULAR FASHION WITH A DAZZLING OPENING CEREMONY"