The inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will officially begin tonight, 14 August 2010, right here in Singapore. 3,531 athletes from 204 countries and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be participating in the first ever Summer YOG.

For the past month or so, all of Singapore has been decorated with all sorts of YOG stuff. Flags bearing the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games logo have been flying or hanging along almost every street. Countdown clocks have been slowly ticking away towards the opening ceremony. Logos, Olympic rings, and even the official mascots Lyo and Merly can be found almost everywhere in Singapore.

YOG arch at Orchard Road

YOG promotions on Cavenagh Bridge

Tonight’s opening ceremonies will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay, the world’s largest floating stage. The audience will be facing the bay, where (presumably) there will be a massive fireworks display. The Float @ Marina Bay is also flanked by some of Singapore’s iconic structures: Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, and the newly opened Marina Bay Sands.

The Float @ Marina Bay

stage for the YOG opening ceremony

Marina Bay at night

I have tickets to watch the opening ceremony, and I’m very excited! It has always been a dream (and goal) of mine to be at the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games. Granted, these may “only” be the Youth Olympic Games, but it’s still the Olympics. It’s still a gathering of (and competition between) world-class athletes; they just happen to be between 14 to 18 years old. And who knows, maybe these will be the same athletes the world will be watching on a larger scale at the 2012 London Olympics, or the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

opening ceremony ticket, and other YOG swag

The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will be from 14 August to 26 August. 184 events in 26 sports will be played. I already have tickets to watch basketball (where the Philippines is playing), volleyball, and three days of tennis.

I’ll do my best to be in the thick of things, enjoying myself and snapping photos. I’ll try to post photos here and on Flickr whenever I can. I’ll also definitely be posting on Twitter.

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games logo

Let the games begin!