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Memories relived and volunteers get a standing ovation
27 Aug 2010

This article is presented without bias or favour and can be used, at no charge, for editorial purposes.

By Jonathan Wong

The vibrancy of youth and its power to inspire took centre stage yesterday for one final time at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore.

And it seemed only fitting that it was a 12-year-old girl, local singer Nathania Ong, who led the way at the Marina Bay floating platform with a rousing rendition of Singapore’s national anthem in front of 27,000 spectators.

Looking resplendent in her silver dress which shimmered under the white floodlights, she was accompanied on stage by a choir as the Singapore flag was raised.

A video montage of the 12 days of competition gave the athletes, who filled the stage and filmed the proceedings with their digital cameras, the chance to relive memories of triumph and defeat.

Medals were not the only theme of the three-minute clip. There were also scenes of newly-formed friendships – rivals on the track embracing each other in a show of how sports can break down barriers.

Yet the occasion was not solely reserved for the 3,600 young people who took part in the competition.

The efforts of the 20,000 volunteers were not forgotten.

Singapore’s 50m backstroke silver medallist Rainer Ng, representing all the athletes, paid tribute in a speech.

Bouquets of flowers were also presented to eight representative volunteers as they soaked in a standing ovation from the crowd.

Not only was Singapore’s city skyline once again bathed in fireworks, four performers suspended under hot air balloons also brought gasps from the audience.

Once again at this very site along the waterfront, the highlight was the Youth Olympic Flame as the flugelhorn softly serenaded its gentle extinction under a cover of dim velvet lights.

It marked the end of the inaugural YOG but as the closing duet serenaded the crowd and the athletes with the words “We’re on our way”, it was also a reminder of the future.

Or as the video by the next host proclaimed, “See you in Nanjing”.

This article is presented without bias or favour and can be used, at no charge, for editorial purposes.

Last Updated:27 Aug 2010, 00:59 GMT+8
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