Singapore is happy to host the first ever Youth Olympic Games, which began last night with a massive, over-the-top opening ceremony. The country's been preparing for the YOG for awhile now. Nanyang Technological University, the home of the Youth Olympic Village, looked significantly different when I went there last week- tons of extra fences and razor wire had been rolled out all over the place, along with tons of banners welcoming the competitors and a tall Olympic torch near one of the entrances. On streets all over the island are signs saying "GIVE WAY to official YOG vehicles!" and with all of the national day decorations still up, the whole island is looking very patriotic. It's been a big week for Singapore.
The games are scheduled to take place from yesterday, August 14th, to August 26th. Approximately 3600 athletes ranging in age from 14 to 18 and hailing from about 200 countries are competing. Unlike the regular Olympics, competitors at the Youth Olympics will take part in cultural and educational events as well as competing in their events. They will be assisted by about 20,000 Singaporean volunteers and observed by thousands of spectators. It's quite a production! You can follow the events and read more about the YOG at the official website.
And remember that awesome official YOG song I shared with you before? Yeah, you can watch it again here if you want to...you know you do.