The inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore closed Thursday to the tune of drums, “an eclectic array of singers and an elaborate fireworks display”, reports Reuters.
The event ended when International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, standing on the world’s largest floating platform at Marina Bay, handed over the Olympic flag to the mayor of Nanjing, host of the 2014 Youth Games,
The ceremony featured messages from three YOG ambassadors and Olympic gold medalists – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, American swimmer Michael Phelps, and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.
Rogge called the Youth Games a massive success.
In his closing news conference he said, “the Youth Olympic Games have exceeded vastly my highest expectations. I always knew it would be well organized, but I did not expect this level of perfection. I now have 22 Olympic Games under my belt but (Singapore) ranks at the very top”.
All 205 National Olympic Committee members sent athletes to Singapore. Ninety three countries won medals, a wider spread than usually seen at the traditional Olympics.
The 12-event involved 3,500 athletes ages 14 to 18 competing in 26 Olympic sports.
The next Summer Youth Olympics will be held in Nanjing, China in 2014 while a Winter Youth Games will be in Innsbruck in 2012.