Today the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games begins in Nanjing, China with Opening Ceremony featuring 75 of Canada’s best under-18 athletes and 32 staff and coaches.
Canada’s flag bearer was Dylan French, an under-17 World Championship medallist. Nanjing 2014 will run until August 28, 2014.
SEE ALSO: Youth Olympic Games can be viewed online
What is the Youth Olympic Games?
If you didn’t know, the Youth Olympic Games are held every two years, with the first summer edition occurring in Singapore, (2010). There’s also been one winter YOG, (Innsbruck 2012). Nanjing 2014 will have over 3800 athletes competing in 29 sports.
Canadian athletes taking in the Youth Olympic experience:
Canada will compete in 22 of the sports, given that not every sport is made available to every country. The Games are designed to serve a purpose but not be as large as their older sibling. However, with the event in China, most things are expected to be bigger than Singapore 2010.
What about the sport?
For many sports, the Youth Olympic Games are a good opportunity for young athletes to get an Olympic-like experience. The athletes also take part in what is called ‘Compete, Learn, Share’ which is a series of exhibits, events and excursions designed to expose athletes to culture and education.
For example, double Olympic gold medallist Heather Moyse is here to speak to athletes. There are learning stations in the Athlete’s Village covering topics like clean sport or nutrition. Also, word is that the trip to Nanjing’s historic Ancient City Wall is pretty cool.
We’ll be following the athlete experience in Nanjing with the 11 days of competition getting started on Sunday.
Photos: Nanjing 2014 Opening Ceremony