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Youth Olympic Flame Lit In Ancient Olympia
23 Jul 2010

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

By Leonard Lim

ANCIENT OLYMPIA – The first-ever Youth Olympic Flame was lit here today, where the Olympic Games first began.

An actress playing the part of a High Priestess focused the sun's rays on a torch to light it, and then handed it over to Greek athlete, Apostolos Koutavas.

The flame was then passed on to Singapore Youth Olympic Games athletes Amanda Lim and Silas Abdul Razak, and then to another Greek athlete, Nikos Tsiokos.

Hellenic Olympic Committee President, Mr Capralos then received the flame before passing it to YOG organising committee chairman Ng Ser Miang.

He raised it proudly before a gathered audience of about 200, which included Singapore Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan.

Calling it a "new beginning for the Olympic movement", International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the YOG will serve as a gateway for youth to improve their performance on the field, and in life.

"By combining sport, education and culture in global forum, the YOG will give the world's best young athletes a chance to compete, learn and share experiences with other young people."

Ng said: "This place is so magical, it's where the Ancient Olympics began, where the modern Olympics were revived, and now the beginning of the YOG."

The flame will travel to Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul over the next week and arrive in Singapore on August 5.

This will be followed by islandwide torch relay before the opening ceremony on August 14 at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.

About 3,600 athletes from around the world will take part, and the Games will end on August 26.

It was conceived by Rogge in 2007 as a way to bring youth spending too much time on television and the Internet back to sport.

Hellenic Olympic Committee president Spyros Capralos said: "Getting accustomed to the values and ideals of Olympism, the young people will be able to adopt new values, especially in an era when the fundamental principles are in crisis."

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

Last Updated:23 Jul 2010, 19:22 GMT+8
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