Hello again, Global Sports Development friends! Crissy here with blog #2 from our great trip to Singapore. In the last entry, I told you a little bit about the Youth Olympic Games and some general things about the Games themselves. This entry may be a little longer, but more personal.
David Ulich, a GSD Executive Board Member, and I were lucky to have the opportunity to go to Singapore to see the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG). It was a grueling trip, but once we landed, the Games surrounded us! We landed in Singapore after almost 20 hours of travel and were greeted by all things YOG!
Our first day, we got in a little sightseeing. Our first stop was an amazing destination hotel with the world’s largest negative edge pool.Kinda geeky that I wanted to see it, but it was cool! We also got some great pictures of the Singapore bay and the location of the evening’s festivities.
Opening Ceremonies was a high energy affair! There were all kinds of goodies handed out to those of us in the stands, and volunteers everywhere to help us get in the mood. The energy of the crowd was amazing as we waited for the athletes and countries to join us. Great music was playing over the loudspeakers! Who knew that David was such a great dancer? ☺ The ceremony’s theme was “Blazing The Trail,” and it was truly amazing. Local children were used in the dancing and singing, and even some of Singapore’s well-known young athletes played important roles in the ceremony. The Olympic flame arrived from the bay and was brought to the stage. Of course the entire audience was excited to see how the cauldron would be lit, and we weren’t disappointed as it circled around a lighthouse, guiding the way for the world’s youth.
We visited several venues, the first being fencing. GSD has a wonderful working relationship with fencing and it was exciting seeing the best the world has to offer in youth fencing. We saw so many young men and young women’s matches and cheered for our American representatives! We also took time to see some of the sports that were in outdoor venues, like rowing, and went to some of the venues further away, like swimming (obviously, one of my favorite stops during the week!).
We also took time to see many of the Education, Art and Cultural displays. My favorite displays had to do with the history of the Olympic Games movement and the opportunity to be hands on with some of the equipment that athletes use in their sports. My kids would have loved it too! We had a special interest in the displays as we have done the same thing at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
One of the most interesting trips was to the Olympic Village where the athletes, staff and other representatives stayed. The YOG created the World Cultural Village, a cultural and historical display for each country and organization that was participating in the Games. Again, it was great to be hands on, meet some of the enthusiastic volunteers, and to see all the amazing booths supporting the ideals of the Games, like the World Anti-Doping Agency, with whom we work closely.
After a busy week of meetings with governing bodies and federations along with trips to venues to see all the amazing athletes and crazy food, I was happy to get home. However, as I took the time to look back on my pictures, notes and all my information, I felt a sense of accomplishment. It wasn’t that I had accomplished anything personally, but I felt that the world had, and I was happy to have been a witness. The world had come together in the name of sport. The world had taken the time to honor the hard work and dedication of our youth. I was honored to have been at the first ever Youth Olympic Games!
Thank you to all the hard working youth out there, reaching for their goals and striving to be your best. We support you and wish you luck in following your dreams! Thank you for your support of Global Sports Development and your friendship, and we look forward to working with you to make more positive things happen!