The 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games opened mid-August in Nanjing, kicking off 13 days of competition.
The Youth Olympics were formally announced in 2007 as a sporting event created for the world’s youth with an added focus on cultural and educational activities of the host country. This year, Chinese martial arts, or wushu, was selected as the cultural and educational activity.
The Cultural and Education Program was added to promote Olympic values of healthy living and developing well-rounded people. The program includes athletic role models, young ambassadors and young reporters who play different roles throughout the Games.
More than 3,700 young athletes from around the world, representing 203 countries, will compete in 28 sports in arenas and stadiums around Nanjing. The athletes, aged between 15-18, gathered at the opening ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping present to officially open the Games.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said, “You are showing your passion for sport and for fair competition. You are demonstrating that Olympic sport reaches beyond competition. It is also about sharing, learning and making friends across the globe.”
President Xi met with Bach prior to the ceremony and considered the Youth Olympics as an initiative, which integrates culture and education into sport. President Xi also said it’s not only an arena where young athletes compete, but a platform for communication among them.
These newly established Games are an opportunity to develop a new generation of global leaders who have a fresh and profound understanding of cross-cultural effectiveness and the interdependent relationships between all nations.
Below are some pictures of Nanjing’s festive subway from CCTV’s Weibo account. It looks like Nanjing is as crazy for the Olympics as Beijing was in 2008.