On Saturday, August 14, Singapore will host the world’s first Youth Olympic Games. They will last till August 26. While this is just the first attempt to hold such a youth-oriented version of the Olympiad, it already promises to become as popular as the adult version. According to the National Olympic Committee, the Youth Olympiad will host over three thousand sportsmen from 14 to 18 years old, and hailing from 200 countries. Our country will be represented by 55 sportsmen who will compete in 18 out of the 26 competitions.
In order to wish good luck to our junior team, last weekend in Kyiv a solemn farewell party was held. In Singapore each Olympic competitor will not only participate in epic sport battles, but also in a cultural and educational program, which distinguishes the Youth Olympics from its more traditional counterpart. Aimed at uniting youth around the Olympic principles (self-perfection, friendship, and respect) and helping young athletes achieve success in sport and life, the International Olympic Committee, together with the organizing committee of the First Youth Olympic Games, developed seven interesting formats of this program, and all Olympic athletes will participate in it without exceptions.
On August 14 an Olympic fire will be lit to celebrate the opening of this youth forum in the bowl of the floating stadium “The Float@Marina Bay” in Singapore. On The Day before yesterday [Den carried this article on August 10, 2010. – Ed.] a symbolic Olympic fire was ignited in Kyiv to show the unity of the Olympic movement in the whole world. This took place in the Park of Glory, from the eternal fire on the grave of an Unknown soldier, signifying the beginning of the final stage in the All-Ukrainian activity “Pass on the fire of victory!” The torch holders who came to the capital from all regions of Ukraine delivered the fire to the Khreshchaty Park where, in a solemn ceremony of bidding the athletes farewell, it was passed on to the young ambassador of Ukraine to the First Youth Olympic Games, the Olympic champion in wrestling Iryna Merleni.