Fast and Furious at the YOG!
Kid Reporter—and table tennis teams—finally get into the games!
After a week in Singapore, I've finally received my official media accreditation for the Youth Olympic Games! Yes!
First stop: table tennis. What an experience! Stepping into the National Indoor Stadium, hearing the rapid-fire clatter of the hollow celluloid balls, the cheers of the crowd. I never imagined how intense this sport can be!
The players are grunting, shouting, pumping fists... They're sweating so much that they have to wipe their hands on the tables between points.
You've surely heard people refer to this sport as 'ping-pong,' which is cute, but did you know that it was once called 'whiff-whaff?' Nothing whiffy or whaffy about it, let me tell you—this is fast and furious.
It just happens that I showed up on the first day of the tournament. Like me, the competitors in table tennis had to wait one full week before getting into the action. I asked some of them how they handled the wait.
“It was confusing at first, but I practiced every day and I adapted well to the situation," said Ojo Onaolapo from Nigeria after his first win. Ojo came out on top of his group in the first stage. He came through the second stage as well to reach the Quarterfinals.
Simon Bauzy, from Toulouse, France, and the 3rd seed at the beginning of the tournament, thought that the one week wait was frustrating.
“We couldn't take part in some of the fun activities at the Olympic Village," he said. He used the time preparing for the competition, which paid off. He’s playing in the semi-finals today.
Celine Pang, also from France, thought that "the wait was tiring" and was disappointed not to come out of her first stage group. But she was fantastic today in the consolation bracket and won all of her matches.
These players are young, but already they're professionals. They know how to handle a difficult schedule and use it to their advantage.
For me, waiting for my accreditation was very frustrating. Honestly, I was a nervous wreck! But I'm learning from these top competitors. Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait.
I'm super excited that I now have access to the venues, and I'll be rushing to cover as many events as I can!
PHOTOS: (TOP) Fast and furious table tennis action at the National Indoor Stadium at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. (Photo Courtesy Charlotte Samson)