The Road to Nanjing 2014

By Marie-Eve Leclerc

Did you know that young athletes now have the opportunity to compete in the Youth Olympic Games? Since 2010, this new competition has given Olympic hopefuls the chance to enjoy a unique experience.

With fewer than 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, all eyes are on Nanjing, China, host city of the second Summer Youth Olympic Games that will take place August 16-28, 2014.

7 Things to Know About Nanjing 2014, & the YOG

Youth Olympic Games 20141. The first Summer Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore in 2010, followed by the event’s first winter edition in Innsbruck in 2012. After the 2014 Nanjing Games, Lillehammer 2016 will host the Winter Youth Olympic Games, while the following summer edition will take place in Buenos Aires in 2018.

2. The five values associated with the Culture and Education Program (CEP) built into the YOG are: Olympism, social responsibility, skills development, expression, and well-being and healthy living.

3. The YOG brings together some 3,500 athletes aged 15 to 18 from around the world.

4. Participants not only include athletes, but also young journalists, athlete role models, ambassadors and youth volunteers who play a quintessential role in fulfilling the event’s ideals and making this an unbelievable experience.

5. Activities are not limited to the duration of the YOG: the Culture and Educational Program put in place gets youth from around the world involved in this experience.

6. Over the 12 days of competition, the YOG will feature a total of 28 sports and even some exclusive ones that have yet to make their Olympic Games debut, such as 3-on-3 basketball, golf and rugby.

7. For the first time in history, a mobile app will be available to track the Olympic Torch Relay, which officially began with a lighting ceremony in Olympia on April 30.

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Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony, April 30, 2014.

A Virtual and Interactive Torch Relay

The whole world will have the opportunity to take part in the Nanjing 2014 Torch Relay thanks to an interactive mobile app that will allow the Olympic Movement to become mainstreamed. A ceremony took place in Olympia, Greece, to officially kick off this global relay.

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Two Chinese athletes, Sun Ziyue and Jiang Fan, designated as official Olympic torchbearers.

The multifunctional character of this app is really what allows it to engage all young YOG athletes and fans from around the globe. The process is simple: you create a virtual character and you leave your mark by following the Olympic Torch Relay and accumulating badges. The user essentially becomes a torchbearer and therefore an integral part of this particular Olympic sports community. You can even transfer this torch between devices and share it with a friend as a way of spreading the spirit. The mobile app also comes with interactive games and a pedometer.

torchrelay

 Don’t miss the Olympic Torch when it arrives in Canada on May 18!

Lillehammer 2016

Having previously hosted the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, Lillehammer will welcome more than one thousand young athletes aged 15-18 to the second Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2016. Seventy NOCs are expected to participate in the Games that will run February 12-21, 2016. The Games will include all 15 sport disciplines included in the Olympic Winter Games, with variations of some of the events. Numerous venues that were constructed for the 1994 Games will once again host Olympic competition. Amongst them are the Viking Ship Olympic Arena (long track speed skating) in Hamar, the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre (figure skating), the Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track in Hunderfossen, the Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall, the Hafjell Alpine Ski Resort, the Lysgärdsbakkene Ski Jumping Hills and the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium (cross-country skiing, biathlon).

(Photo Credits: Facebook Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games)

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