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Has the Youth Olympic Games 2010 Become a Joke?

By my queenstown on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 with 8 comments

The Youth Olympic Games 2010, slated to take place from 14 August 2010,  was greeted with initial fanfare. When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Singapore as the host for the inaugural summer games on 21 February 2008, Singaporeans were generally excited at the prospect of hosting the who's who in sports. Fast forward 2 years, the YOG has failed to attract Singaporeans despite earnest attempts by the state to promote and advertise it. While MyQueenstown Team feels proud and supports Singapore's bid and attempt to host a major sporting event, we felt that the approach taken thus far has been disappointing.


Official Poster for YOG 2010

Before we explore the root of the problem by interviewing Queenstown residents, let us recap at the major issues concerning with Singapore's bid for YOG. 

Firstly, the Games Village was initially planned at National University of Singapore. This project was abandoned after rising construction costs amidst a global recession. The Games Village was relocated to the current Halls at Nanyang Technological University and caused inconvenience to the students there. 

Secondly, the marketing of YOG has come under scrutiny too. On one hand, The mascots, Lyo and Merly, cannot be easily identifiable. On the other hand, some of the programmes organised by Community Centres and funded by the YOG sponsors, in conjuction with Games, has failed to attract many youths. An example will be "Let's Walk!" conducted by Queenstown Community Centre, which took place on 13th June 2010, were catered specifically to the elderly rather than youths.

Thirdly, in order to facilitate convenience for the participants and officials, road users may be fined $130 for not "giving way" to YOG vehicles. This approach has ruffled feathers among Singaporeans.

Give Way Sign Along Singapore Roads

Despite these hiccups, we believe that the YOG will be carried out smoothly. Young sportsmen and tourists alike will be impressed by Singapore's efficiency and dedication. However, to a heartlander in Queenstown, YOG remains very much a private affair. This begs the question why Singaporeans, Queenstown residents in particular, remains skeptical and oblivious to the Games? Let us find out!

Mdm Yeo Siew Khim, a resident in Tanglin Halt, commented, "Although I'm supporting Singapore's bid for YOG, I'm not going to watch Singapore at the games because it is essentially foreigners representing us! It feels as if we are buying medals (which is against the sporting spirit."

Mdm Siew Khim

Qing Jing, a student at Bukit Merah Secondary School, shares a slightly different opinion. "I'm excited about YOG because it is happening right in my school with the promotional videos... We will be having trips to the YOG Opening Ceremony. However, I feel that more Singaporeans should be inside the YOG team instead of 'Chinese' naturalised Singaporeans. This will make us feel proud of the team."

Qing Jing

Mdm Mizah, a housewife who lives in Tanglin, has heard about YOG on television programmes. She says, "I will watch some games but I think the media is not very effective in advertising and promoting the Games so that Singaporeans can identify with them. I am not very excited about it because they are so many foreigners in the Singapore team."

Mdm Mizah and her children

The spirit of Olympics requires "mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." The main sticking point about YOG isn't the infrastructure, marketing or the 'hard-sell' approach. The main problem lies in the commitment to nurture local talents to participate in these sporting events. While foreign-born naturalised Singaporeans have brought medals, competitive spirit and additional zest in our team, they may deprive a young Singaporean his (or her) dream of representing the nation in a major sporting event. Although Singapore should strive to achieve success at any sporting events such as the YOG, it should not be achieved at the expense of the spirit of Olympics. Winning isn't everything.

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Category: News in the Dump

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8 comments:

b_girl said...
August 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Youth Olympic Games athletes for Team Singapore are not the same as Olympic athletes: they are 14-18 yr olds and are not the same bunch of "foreigners" that you think they are. Have you seen the young athletes for Team Singapore? See http://www.teamsingapore.com.sg/public/teamsingapore/athlete.html?mg=23

These youth are going on to do great things, and if they become stronger and are able to represent Singapore in the Olympics in the future, some support from their fellow countrymen would be very nice.

Lim Zhexin said...
August 11, 2010 at 6:48 PM

@ B Girl I can see that they are trying hard to create the sporting atmosphere in Singapore but making Singapore a sporting hub does not mean that Singapore must organise BIG events but Singaporeans must appreciate sports and value their spirit.

When your Sports school only accept students with certain grades, U allow ur TV channels to spoil market while bidding for EPL, U fine $130 for motorists not giving way for YOG... How can they inculcate sporting atmosphere and encourage OTHER Singaporeans to cheer for them!!

altiusdirectory said...
August 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

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hoy said...
August 16, 2010 at 8:43 PM

seems like Singaporeans want to be proud but can't even make basic sacrifices. giving way is no big deal! well, think about it, if athletes go to training or competition late by even just a few minutes, it would screw the entire schedule up. anyway, do you know that in Olympics there is always a DEDICATED lane for olympic vehicles? like, you are not even supposed to drive on it at all? it is the first time in any olympics they are using a give way method. i think the yog ppl are very creative in that sense, we should support and stop complaining.

and as for housing the athletes, there are like, 4000plus overseas delegates? where to house them? i think using the hostels was a great idea. not like we have any space elsewhere! if we put them in nus also sure complain what. singaporeans will complain about everything. makes me feel damn paiseh to be singaporean. you guys dunno how big an effort it is to organise this, hope ppl can be more supportive instead of just complaining.

anyway, you dont have to be in sports sch to be a good athlete what...

Lim Zhexin said...
August 17, 2010 at 3:46 AM

@ hoy
No one is saying the organisation or dedicated lane is bad. It's the fine and harsh approach that piss people off!
No one is saying that housing them in NTU is a bad idea. It's the inconvenience that NTU students got because of the relocation of bus stops.

Seems like you're part of the organising committee and if you can't take in any feedback, you have shown urself to be equally stubborn.. No wonder so many Singaporeans are offended by YOG

hoy said...
August 17, 2010 at 10:14 PM

LOL im not even a volunteer !! hahhaa... like you, i used to think we would be wasting our money on smth like YO G and i even wrote to the newspapers abt it. but now i found that i feel super proud of us that we managed to organise this event so i feel that we should jus be as supportive as possible. otherwise all these overseas athletes come here and see that we only knw how to complain,not nice right??? of course there will be inconvenience, but if you can propose other ideas they will surely learn frm our fb.

anyway, we will nv be able to host any olympic games, we are so small. this is closest we can get. we should be proud!! the other day i got into a jam becos of YOG but i think ok, small sacrifices have to be made. we can't do it without everyones understanding after all..

Lim Zhexin said...
August 18, 2010 at 12:39 AM

@hoy
i guess you don't understand how ordinary singaporeans think about YOG. Singaporeans do not feel it's money wasted and do not feel "giving way" is troublesome...
on the other hand, it's the harshness in how Singaporeans are treated... "DOG food" "Fine:$130" that pisses us.. F1 is great Barclays Golf Open is great too.. they didn't do such drastic measures to organise the event

web dagger said...
January 12, 2012 at 1:38 AM

Hi....

Thanks a lot for sharing the information.......

By the way check out the total information about the Winter Youth Olympics like Winter Youth Olympic Games 2012 Schedule, Dates, Results and more information from Winter Youth Olympic Games 2012.

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