POSTED: August 19th 2010

PyeongChang 2018 is learning vital lessons from the Youth Olympics

Social media is playing a very big role in the YOG and translates easily into the PyrongChang 2018 high tech plan / Singapore 2010
Social media is playing a very big role in the YOG and translates easily into the PyrongChang 2018 high tech plan / Singapore 2010

NIKKI WICKS in Singapore / Sports Features Communications

SINGAPORE, Aug 18: The spirit of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games is reflective of what PyeongChang will offer in its bid to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, according to Yang Ho Cho, chairman and ceo of the bid committee.

Cho, who is also the chairman of the Korea Table Tennis Association made the trip to Singapore to show his support for the 70 young athletes representing Korea, but said that he was "watching very closely" to see what lessons could be learnt at the inaugural YOG.

He said: "We are watching very closely at how the Youth Olympics Games develop. This [YOG] is not only about the international sports competition, but also about learning different cultures, making friends and raising interest in sports. I think that our concept is very similar and is more about expanding the winter sports fan base as well as the developing athletes."

The message being sent out by IOC to the 3,500 young athletes competing in Singapore has very much been focussed on engaging young people in sports and sharing the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. All the young athletes will also take part in a cultural and education programme whilst in Singapore.

Speaking before the Games, IOC president Jacques Rogge said: "The message says sport is very important for you, for the mind, the body and psychology. It is fun but there is an education part. I hope the education part of this event will be easier than educating my own kids."

Since 2004, PyeongChang has been running the the Dream Program, an international initiative to allow young athletes from countries without snow to experience winter in Korea and promote winter sports. The Dream Program, Cho says, is consistent with the message being delivered at the YOG.

"It's about really engaging the youth in sports and all the Olympic values and that is part of our main message to reach out to the youth and really engage them in Olympic sports," said PyeongChang spokesperson Theresa Seung Yun Rah.

"And it doesn't always have to be summer Games. There is a growing interest in winter sports in Asia and now they have the economic means to travel to places like Japan and especially Korea. And of course there is a lot to learn from here on how they are reaching out to the youth."

Keywords · PyeongChang 2018 · Yang Ho Cho · Singapore 2010 · YOG · Youth Olympic Games

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