Archive for the ‘Youth Olympic Games’ Category

2010 Youth Olympic Games – Part 2

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

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.

Olympic Flame (left) Opening Ceremony (bottom right)

Olympic Flame (left) Opening Ceremony (bottom right)

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.

Fencing

Fencing

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!).

David Ski

David as an Olympic Skier

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.

Me and David

David and I

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!

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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 in got little sightseeing[j1] . 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? J 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 [j2] 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!


[j1]I cut some of this just to shorten it up a bit.

[j2]Does this need hyphen?

Passing the Olympic Torch to the Next Generation

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Dear Blog Rollers!  Your friend Crissy here!  Great to be touching base with you again!  We have been very busy at Global Sports Development lately, getting back in touch with our young adults and finding new ways to bring sports to youth all over the world.

GSD Executive Board Member David Ulich and I had the opportunity to attend the first EVER Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, designed to inspire the world’s young people to participate in sport and embrace the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. Singapore is a beautiful tropical island that is located in Southeast Asia.  It is 5 million strong with a very diverse population.  It has the reputation of being one of the cleanest places on Earth, only slightly due to the fact that chewing gum is not allowed on the island!  The city/nation was very welcoming to the visitors that came from around the world.

Just over three years ago, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to create the Youth Olympic Games, a platform on which young people would be inspired to take up sport, live healthy lifestyles and embrace the Olympic values. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG), the first new addition the IOC has staged since 1924, were designed to target young athletes between the ages of 14 to 18.  Over 3,000 athletes from 204 countries attended these inaugural games that featured an opening ceremony with the Olympic flame, all 26 competitive sports but with several variations (I’ll get back to that), amazing venues, thousands of helpful volunteers, cute mascots, an athlete village and of course, a closing ceremony.  No doubt, many of these athletes hope to go on to the Summer Olympic Games upcoming in London or Rio, but the main focus of the YOG was participation and enjoying sport for sport’s sake, to encourage promoting the intrinsic goal of doing your best and having sportsmanship be paramount.

Some of the unique features of the YOG included an eco-friendly environment where no additional buildings were constructed for the YOG; Athlete Mentors, Olympian representatives from several countries, including pole vaulting Gold Medalist from Russia Yelena Isinbayeva and our very own Michael Phelps; a smaller number of participants (each country is only allowed 70 representatives); the regular events with additions like 3 on 3 basketball, mixed gender and mixed country events; a Young Reporters program that brought in 26 young journalists from the around the world; a Young Ambassadors program and a Culture and Education Program that included workshops and community projects.

These inaugural games also had their own emblem featuring a flame for passion, a star for champions, and a crescent representing the future. And what Olympic event would be complete without the mascots?  The mascots for the YOG were Lyo, a lion symbolizing Singapore, itself, with his mane which resembled the emblem’s flame and a paw shaped like the island country.  The other mascot was Merly, a merlion cub that got her name from ‘mer” meaning sea and ‘ly’ meaning youthfulness.  A merlion is a mythical sea creature, part lion and part fish, inspired by Singaporean folklore.

Innsbruck, Austria, will be hosting the Winter YOG in 2012 and Nanjing, China, will be the host for the next YOG Summer Games in 2014.

Look for my next entry that includes information about our exciting trip and many pictures of the venues, the sports and of Singapore itself.  As always, thank you for your support of Global Sports Development!  We love hearing from you and please share our stories with your friends who may be interested too!