Singapore hosts the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. The brainchild of International Olympics Committee chief Jacques Rogge, the Games will see 3500 athletes, aged 14 to 18, competing in 26 sports. These include traditional sports such as athletics and swimming, and also some innovative events such as beach-wrestling and BMX bike riding. Put off by rules that limit the number of competitors for each sport, some countries have decided not to sent young athletes to YOG 2010.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not pressure countries to send their best athletes for YOG 2010, said Sergey Bubka, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Games. He made the comment after news that some United States athletes had pulled out. The US swimming team, and its shooters and cyclists have pulled out, saying that the games will not provide high-level competition. The summer games for youth will be held every four years, with winter games help between them. The event is expected to bring some 800 IOC officials, 800 media representatives and more than 500,000 spectators to the city-state. Singapore expects to have 24 venues, with four being built as temporary facilities, including one large cluster of 13 facilities in its Marina-Kallang area. The Youth Olympic Village will be located at a new multi-million-dollar student residential complex at the National University of Singapore. Singapore beat Athens, Bangkok, Turin and Moscow for YOG hosting honors.
Date written/update: 2010-08-14