Press Release – Youth Olympics
New Zealand,Auckland, 2 August 2010 – The Youth Olympic Flame, on a mission to spread the spirit of Olympism to youth around the world by travelling to one celebration city in each continent, has arrived in Auckland.City Of Sails Welcomes The Youth Olympic Flame
The Youth Olympic Flame makes penultimate stop in Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand, Auckland, 2 August 2010 – The Youth Olympic Flame, on a mission to spread the spirit of Olympism to youth around the world by travelling to one celebration city in each continent, has arrived in Auckland. This marked the penultimate stop on the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame that spans five continents, as a prelude to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
The Flame was greeted by a Powhiri yesterday at the Manukau Civic Centre Gallery. The Powhiri is a traditional Maori ceremony for welcoming visitors to the island country. The ritual involved a series of warrior chants and dances and ending off with a hongi, a Maori greeting performed by pressing one’s nose to another.
Following the Powhiri, the Flame made a stop at the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club where New Zealand’s Barbara Kendall, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Athlete Role Model and Elise Beavis (Sailing), athlete bound for the upcoming YOG in Singapore welcomed the Flame; as were New Zealand Olympic Gold Medalist Yvette Corlett together with YOG athlete, Mohamed Ali (Athletics) at the Pakuranga Athletics Club.
The Flame’s stop in Auckland culminated in a City Celebration at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre today, where Sir John Walker and Elise Beavis ignited the Celebration Cauldron with the Flame. The lighting of the Celebration Cauldron was witnessed by Mr Mike Stanley, President of New Zealand Olympic Committee, Mr Len Brown, Mayor of Manukau City, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and His Excellency Justice (Ret) M.P.H Rubin, Singapore’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, amongst other guests.
“It is especially meaningful for the Youth Olympic Flame to visit Auckland, the Celebration City representing the continent of Oceania. Its people are traditionally strong in sport, and the city proactively promotes excellence and education for the youth. Through the Youth Olympic Flame, we hope to reach out to all the youths in Oceania and encourage them to take up sport, forge new friendships, and uphold the respect we have for one another,” said Mr Ser Miang NG, Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee and Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee.
To bring a slice of Singapore life, culture and tradition to Auckland, the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) has partnered Singapore’s Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) to present a Singapore Showcase at the city celebration. It features the creative versatility, richness and diversity of Singapore through multi-cultural and youthful performances involving the genres of music, dance and vocals.
The Singapore Showcase began with “Tze n Looking Glass” who debuted an original piece, ‘Fly With Me’, specially composed for the Youth Olympic Games. Their unique brand of fusion music is achieved using an ensemble of piano, Chinese erhu, Indian violin, saxophone, bass and drums, a reflection of the group’s multicultural background. Next to follow was “Maya Dance Theatre” with their classical Indian dance form interwoven with modern steps and performed to upbeat music, mesmerising the audience with their vibrant intricate moves and colourful ethnic costumes. Joining in the finale was “Rasa DB Fusion”, whose traditional dikir barat vocal chants culminated in a transformation to an original rap on Singapore and a special rendition of Rasa Sayang, a favourite Singapore folksong.
The Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame is a 13-day journey to celebration cities, representing five continents around the world. The Flame then arrives in Singapore on 6 August for a traditional six-day torch relay around the island nation. The five cities are:
1. Berlin, Germany representing Europe
2. Dakar, Senegal representing Africa
3. Mexico City, Mexico representing the Americas
4. Auckland, New Zealand representing Oceania
5. Seoul, South Korea representing Asia
At each of the celebration cities, the Flame will journey to significant city landmarks and allow as many people as possible to welcome the Flame to the continent. The day will end off with a City Celebration, where the people of the city and continent can join in the festivities to celebrate the world’s first Youth Olympic Games.
The Flame’s journey will culminate in the torch being brought to the Float@Marina Bay in Singapore, the world’s largest floating stage on 14 August 2010 where it will ignite the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games cauldron as part of the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the Games. Once lit, the Flame will continue to burn brightly throughout the 12 days of the Games until the Closing Ceremony on 26 August 2010.
More details on the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame, City Celebrations and Singapore Showcase can be found on the accompanying fact sheet.