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1st Asian Youth Games opens in Singapore

2009-06-30 08:30 BJT

With the theme of "Asia's Youth, Our Future", the first Asian Youth Games (AYG) raised its curtain in Singapore on Monday night with cheers, flames and flowers.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared open the games at the opening ceremony.

More than 1,400 athletes from 45 countries and regions are taking part in the first version of the Games which will run from June 30 to July 7 in the city, which will also hold the first Olympic Youth Games (OYG) in 2010.

Three torch bearers, swimmer Tao Li, bowler Remy Ong and shooter Jasmine Ser, lit the cauldron with their torches, which representing the three Olympic values of Respect, Friendship and Excellence.

"AYG is the first continent-wide, multi-sport games with equal emphasis on cultural and education modules designed specifically for the youth of Asia," said Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the Asian Youth Games Steering Committee.

"Asia has embraced the Olympic movement with passion and commitment. The Games that begins tomorrow is a testament of that. For the last 12 months, the Singapore Asian Youth Games Organizing Committee has worked with energy, devotion and faith to deliver the Games," he added.

The opening ceremony was also broadcast live via webcast, which is a first for an international multi-sport games.

"There could not be a better way to reach the millions of youth of Asia," said Ng. "We know where our young people are during their leisure hours, very often online except when they are playing sports in the field."

The opening ceremony show had three mass displays, titled "Garden in the city", "Asia's Zest" and "Spirit of Evolution". There were more than 1,400 performers from 20 schools and tertiary institutions took part in the ceremony.