Youth Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
This is it. The long wait is over. After two and a half years of preparations and anticipation, the first ever Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are finally here. And if the Opening Ceremony in Singapore is any indication of what we might get to see in the next 12 days, we're in for something spectacular.
Singapore is buzzing with energy. YOG signs, banners, and flags are just about everywhere. From the moment I stepped out of the plane on Saturday to the time I arrived at Marina Bay for the Opening Ceremony that evening, I bumped into 736 volunteers. The volunteers are everywhere in their neon-purple outfits I'm sure can be easily spotted from space! I talked to all of them—well, nearly all—and they're super nice and eager to help.
Check out these numbers: 3,600 athletes from 204 countries are competing; 20,000 volunteers are helping keep things organized; 7,000 dancers performed in front of 27,000 spectators for the opening ceremony; and more than 2 billion watched worldwide on TV. (You can watch online at http://www.youtholympicgames.org/)
The stage for the opening ceremony was set on the water, which reflected the city and the fireworks all around. It gave me goosebumps to be there watching.
Singapore has a proud history—one that was told beautifully in the Opening Ceremony. The games are sure to add a fascinating new chapter to that history—a chapter rooted in the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.
A prominent song at the Opening Ceremony had this chorus: "Today, our story has begun." That's how highly the citizens of Singapore hold these games.
With the opening ceremonies over, competition is now in full swing. I am working hard to cover everything I can, including my sister’s competition in wind surfing. Yes, my older sister, Margot, is on the U.S. wind surfing team!
Stay tuned to this blog for more reports from Singapore!
PHOTO: Fireworks explode during the opening ceremony marking the start of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games on Saturday August 14, 2010 in Singapore. (Photo: Wong Maye-E/AP Images)