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Speech by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, and President Singapore National Olympic Council

DATE: 20 JULY 2010

Mr Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports & Ministry of Transport

Mr James Wong, Chef de Mission of Team Singapore to the Youth Olympic Games;

Officials and Athletes;

Media Partners;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

A very good evening

  1. In just 25 days, the much-anticipated Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will begin right here on home ground. I still remember vividly the historic moment on 21 February 2008 when I was waiting, together with many Singaporeans, for the President International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mr Jacques Rogge’s announcement of the host city for the inaugural YOG. I’m sure many of us still remember the jubilation and celebration when it was announced that Singapore had won the bid. It was truly a moment that would stay with me and I’m sure, many Singaporeans, for a long time.
  2. The YOG is finally upon us, and as host nation Singapore will be welcoming some 5,000 athletes and officials from the 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). And from 14 to 26 August, we will be enthralled and mesmerised by the display of youthful sporting talent from all around the world.
  3. Today, we present the national flag to Team Singapore who will be carrying it into the YOG. Team Singapore to the YOG will comprise 130 athletes and 58 officials, a total of 188 in all. They will participate in all of the 26 sports in the sports programme, and the more than 50 fun and interactive activities crafted from seven themes in the culture and education programme.
  4. Behind every Team Singapore athlete who has made it to the YOG is a story of perseverance and hard work. Each athlete has made huge sacrifices in order to perform well in his or her chosen sport. In addition to what most teenagers do at their age, our athletes make the extra effort to arrange their lives around training and competitions, all with the hope and dream of bringing glory to Singapore.
  5. To our young athletes, I want to say a big thank-you for choosing to train hard and to compete, not just for yourself but for Singapore and for all those who have nurtured you.
  6. I am sure, for each and every single one of you, there is also a dream to win a medal at the YOG. To me, the fact that you have been selected to be part of Team Singapore for the YOG means that you are already a winner. We would be most proud of you if you do your personal best at the Games, and I look to you also to demonstrate the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.
  7. At this juncture I am pleased to announce here that NTUC Fairprice Foundation, SNOC’s partner in sports, will be awarding the NTUC Fairprice Foundation Sports Scholarship for Team Singapore medalists at the YOG. This is quite similar to the sports scholarships that NTUC Fairprice Foundation awarded to our medalists at the Asian Youth Games. Thank you NTUC Fairprice Foundation for your generosity.
  8. It leaves me now to wish Mr James Wong, Chef de Mission to the YOG, the Team Singapore athletes and officials, all the very best in the coming games. You can be assured that the entire nation is behind you, I will see you all at the games.

Thank you.

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