YOG Singapore 2010, Day 1: Spectacular Opening Ceremony celebrates Youth, Sport and Culture

Youth Olympic Games

The inaugural edition of the Youth Olympic Games, in Singapore (SIN), is officially open. After a spectacular Opening Ceremony, where Youth, Sport and Culture were the key concepts, the best young athletes of the planet will start competing in 26 sports, until August 26. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, addressed them a strong message: "You will learn the difference between winning and being a champion. To win, you merely have to cross the finish line first. To be a champion, you have to inspire admiration for your character, as well as for your physical talent. You have to compete in spirit of fair play, respecting your opponents and the rules — without doping or any other unfair advantage".

Held in the breathtaking scenario of Singapore’s Marina Bay, surrounded by the city skyscrapers and the now emblematic Marina Bay Sands complex, the show combined light and music with original choreographies and some innovation in terms of the Olympic protocol at Opening Ceremonies. The parade of the athletes was, for example, not done in the traditional way; this time, the competitors entered in a block in one of the first “chapters” of the Ceremony. A bit later, the flags of the 205 nations present in Singapore made their formal entry in the Marina Bay. Besides the usual athletes and officials’ oath, coaches also swear to respect the Olympic ideals during the competition.

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YOG Singapore 2010, One Day to go: Swimming gets ready, Village gets busy

Youth Olympic Games

With one day to go for the Opening Ceremony of the 1st Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (SIN), the Swimming family held this Friday, August 13, its Team Leaders meeting before the start of the competition, to be held from August 15-20. The first motive of celebration relates with the very significant participation in the 34 swimming events – the 400 athletes allowed by the IOC quota for this discipline represent 153 National Olympic Committees.

In a meeting held in the Youth Olympic Village, team leaders and responsible for the many delegations present in Singapore, were briefed on the technical procedures surrounding the competition and were happy to know that the facility for Swimming – the Singapore Sports School – will provide optimal conditions for excellent performances. This is a venue well known by the FINA Family, as it hosts the annual leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup (in 25m-pool).

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First Youth Olympic Games medals unveiled!

Youth Olympic Games

As the athletes prepare for their arrival in Singapore, the first medals for the Youth Olympic Games were unveiled. Competition takes place between 15 and 26 August, where the best performing athletes will be awarded this specially designed medal. FINA will be represented in the disciplines of Swimming and Diving.

The obverse design was created by Setsuko Fukuzawa from Japan, winner of the Medal Design Competition held by the International Olympic Committee in the build-up to Singapore 2010. Her medal features the flames and waves, symbolising the Olympic spirit and the cheering of athletes. The Olympian’s body shaped in a ‘Y’ is reminiscent of Goddess Nike and stands for Youth, as referred to in the “Yes Youth Can” slogan, the name that Setsuko gave to her creation. The reverse side features the mythical lion synonymous with Singapore, and emblem for the Games, which represents the spirit of youth.

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Discover Masters World: Jim Montgomery (USA)

Masters

Jim Montgomery (USA) - credit: Sarah ChiarelloThose who have had the good luck one day to meet Jim Montgomery certainly remember how genuine, kind and unassuming this great man is. The American is in Gothenburg (SWE) for the FINA Masters World Championships where he shares his thoughts about his incredible career, his new passions and why, at 55, he still swims. It is hard to know where to start when recalling the accomplishments of the legendary freestyle swimmer, who was born in 1955 in Madison, Wis. (USA).

The sprinter years

Jim Montgomery etched his name into the history books when he was the first man to swim the 100m freestyle under the 50-second barrier in a World record time (49.99) at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal (CAN). He began an unstoppable reign over the freestyle events, also winning gold in 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle, and a bronze in the 200m freestyle.

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Discover Masters World: Mieko Nagaoka (JPN)

Masters

Mieko Nagaoka (JPN) - credit: Sarah ChiarelloMs. Mieko Nagaoka was born in 1914. She lives alone in the South of Japan and started swimming at 80 years old to recover from a knee injury. Her story teaches us a simple but often overlooked lesson: it is never too late to start something and make great accomplishements.

In the beginning, Ms. Nagaoka didn’t know how to swim. She used to come to the swimming pool to do exercises for her knee. At 82, she started to learn and swim on her own. And because she performs in a Noh – Japanese traditional dancing dramas – this was also an incentive to learn how to swim so that she would keep in shape for the plays.

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