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OLYMPIC REVIEW47OLYMPISM IN ACTIONThe inaugural Youth Olympic Games were aresounding success with an estimatedtelevision audience of 247 million and closeto 8.4 million views on the IOC's Youth OlympicGames YouTube channel. Whilethe young athleteswho had gathered in Singapore for the first YouthOlympic Games were focusing hard on their ownsporting performances, they were also exposed tothings that are more important than sport. Away fromthe stadiums, arenas and swimming pools ofSingapore, the IOC and its partner organisations wereusing the YOG's unique and innovative Culture andEducation Programme to teach participating athletesabout important topics such as sustainability, fightagainst doping, Olympism, HIV/AIDS prevention,children's rights, fair play and first aid and humanitarianassistance.By setting up interactive booths and workshops atthe heart of the Youth Olympic Village, the aim was togive young athletes an easily accessible way of gaininga greater understanding of these significant globalissues, which affect each and every one of them. Thefun and engaging nature of the displays meantathletes could learn about these serious topics in anenjoyable and entertaining manner, while the contentof the exhibits was tailored especially for young people.Among the international organisations that weresupporting the IOC in implementing these activitieswere three United Nations agencies - UNICEF, UNAIDSand UNEP. "This is a unique opportunity for youngathletes to look beyond sports competitions and to getexposed to pressing global issues," said WilfriedLemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General onSport for Development and Peace, when touring thebooths in the Youth Olympic Village. ?Left YOG Ambassador Yelena Isinbaeva reachingout to the youth in Singapore

The IOC also set up booths in the Village, whichprovided useful information on topics ranging fromhealthy living and positive body image, sexualharassment or the risks of betting in sport. The IOCAthlete Career Programme (ACP), in partnership withAdecco, was also present to provide guidance oneducation, life skills and employment.There were also booths operated by theInternational Olympic Academy (IOA), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Fair PlayCommittee (CIFP) and the International Federation ofRed Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Bylearning about these key global issues, it is hoped thatthe young athletes will engage in actively spreadingthe word in their own communities at home andperhaps take their experiences forward with them toan even bigger audience if they one day compete atthe Olympic Games."These athletes may become the role models ofthe future," explained Hartmut Stahl, ProgrammeOfficer at the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), which was using two 'energy bicycles' topower lightbulbs, and a stereo system to help educateathletes on the importance of energy efficiency."Alexandra Karaiskou, of the IOA, was impressed byhow well the athletes connected with the messagesthat were being conveyed. "The reaction has been far more than weexpected," she said. "Every day we've had around 150visitors, which has been very satisfying."The IOA booth enabled athletes to learn moreabout the Olympic values and the history of themodern Olympic Games through a variety of gamesand interactive displays, while some of the otherbooths addressed topics that could directly affect theparticipating athletes in the future, such as doping,living a healthy lifestyle and fair play. A dedicated"Health Zone" in the Village also enabled athletes tolearn about nutrition through interactive games andeducational videos."We're inviting young athletes to show the rest of48OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPISM IN ACTION