The Closing Ceremony of the inaugural edition of the Youth Olympic Games will bring a dramatic and emotional end to twelve days of world-class sporting competition and cultural and educational activities in Singapore on Thursday night.
Some 3,600 athletes aged 14 to 18 took part in the Singapore 2010 Games. They were accompanied by 1,850 officials, and some 20,000 volunteers helped make the organisational aspect of the Games a success.
Medals were won by nearly half of the nations and territories (93 of the 205 territories) taking part in the Games. And the Games featured a number of exciting new innovations, including new sports formats like 3-on-3 basketball, combined discipline cycling, head-to-head sprints in canoe-kayak, and new technology such as the modern pentathlon laser gun. Many sports included a combination of mixed National Olympic Committee and mixed gender sports such as triathlon relays, archery, table tennis, fencing and swimming relays, to name but a few.
The more than 50 Culture and Education Programme activities were extremely popular with the athletes, so much so that additional sessions were added by the organisers. One of the most well-received CEP events was the Chat With Champions session featuring Olympic champion pole vaulters Sergey Bubka and Yelena Isinbaeva, who were a source of inspiration to the young athletes during a lively and often amusing question-and-answer period. Over the duration of the 12 days, almost all the 3,600 athletes visited the World Anti-Doping Agency and UNAIDS booths in the Youth Olympic Village.
The athletes participating in Singapore 2010 were joined by 29 Young Reporters, who actively provided content to the international media, while 30 Young Ambassadors supported and mentored their national delegations. Over 40 Athlete Role Models from the International Federations and International Olympic Committee also offered advice and tips to the athletes in and around the Athletes' Village.
Global interest in the Youth Olympic Games has been strong, with over 160 rights-holding broadcasters providing coverage and over 1,900 accredited international media in attendance in Singapore. Videos on the Youth Olympic Games Channel have been viewed over five million times, and at one point it was the third most watched YouTube channel worldwide. To date, 36 per cent of all viewers have been under the age of 24. The Games were also broadcast live online on the Singapore 2010 Official Webcasting Platform.
The IOC has also reached out to a young audience around the world on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. More than half of the 3.6 million fans across the Olympic Facebook platforms are between the ages of 13 and 24. The Singapore 2010 and Youth Olympic Games pages now have more than 100,000 "fans".
The Olympic.org website is receiving its highest number of views since Vancouver 2010, with over two million page views in August alone, while the Singapore Youth Olympic Games site has enjoyed more than a million visits since the start of the Games on 14 August.
The first winter edition of the Youth Olympic Games will take place in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012, while the second summer edition will kick off in Nanjing, China, in 2014.
Visit ISAF's Youth Olympic Games microsite at: http://www.sailing.org/yog