YOG – Now is not the time

Been reading a lot about the Youth Olympic Games lately. Most of them are negative. I posted 2 article that I found online which I think are from a different perspective and worth a read. If you haven’t read them, please take some time to read this and this. I hope these perspective from the other side would change your opinion about YOG.
So here is my opinion about the Youth Olympic Games. At first, I don’t really care much. I’m not very supportive when it comes to sports simply because the scene is dominated by foreign talents. I hated the foreign talent scheme since day one. I felt that we should spend all those money and effort on our own citizen. Winning or losing isn’t really important. Most importantly, we are represented by real Singaporeans. To me, the foreign talents can only be winner but never a champion. They will not be able to inspire me. And I’m sure this applies to a lot of Singaporeans too.
But my perspective of YOG changed when I read about that facebook note by Ridz’s friend. It strikes me that the YOG is not just about the foreign talents. It’s actually benefiting most of our youth in one way or another. I wouldn’t say all the youths benefited from YOG because some of them didn’t care about it. But for those who cared about it, they gained a priceless once in a lifetime experience. Something that none of us here is able to understand because there wasn’t a YOG when we were still young.
I know there are a lot of problems with the YOG. The YOG spending has exceeded the budget by more than 3 times. Schools students are forced to buy tickets to watch the matches. Some school terms delayed because of YOG. Cars need to give way to YOG bus or face a fine. The public are not interested in the YOG activities. Volunteers’ food looks like dog food. Students forced to help out for YOG. Not enough international media coverage. Some people using YOG for their own political gains. Etc etc etc….. the list goes on and on and on. I guess you know more than me.
I agree with some of the points being raised by Singaporeans. I will not go into details on which point I agree and which point I disagree because now is not the time. Now is not the time to point finger. Now is not the time to demand an explanation. Now is not the time to ask why the spending exceed 3 times the budget. Now is not the time to ask why our volunteers are being treated badly. Now is not the time to ask why there isn’t enough international media coverage. Now is not the time to ask if there is a need to issue fine to cars that doesn’t give way to the YOG bus. Now is not the time to ask who is responsible for all these.
My fellow Singaporeans….. NOW is not the time.
Now is the time for us to welcome the young athletes from all around the world. Now is the time to support our young athletes. Now is the time for us to be a good host. Now is the time to show the world what Singapore is capable of. Now is the time to give the young athletes a chance to perform. Now is the time for the young athletes to compete and share their experience. Now is the time for them to learn about sportmanship. Now is the time for them to compete in a fair manner without doping.
Now is the time to let the world’s attention be placed on the sporting talents of our future generation and not those issues surrounding the whole Youth Olympic Games.
I’m also unhappy with some of the things that the YOG committee did. For example, I know that they release balloon dove during the opening ceremony. If you have been reading my blog long enough, you know that balloon release is my pet peeve. I didn’t blog about it becuase NOW is not the time. I’m also very curious how did the spending exceed the budget more than 3 times. MORE than 3 times!! That’s a lot of money. Who is incharge of budgeting? And why didn’t the IOC get more international media attention for us? Why didn’t the YOG committee managed to get the general public to be more involved in the games. Why didn’t the organizing committee get better food and benefits for the hardworking volunteers? Someone have a lot of explaining to do. But now is not the time.
There is a right time for everything. Now is not the time to ask who should be held responsible. Let’s not steal the media attention away from the young athletes. They trained hard for this moment. Give them 12 days to show the world what they are capable of. This is their time. This is their moment. This is their glory.
For those who don’t support YOG, all I ask of you is to hold your complaint until the end of YOG. Don’t ruin the hard effort put in by others. For those who support YOG, please give all the young athletes your fullest support. They deserved it. Let’s make this the best Youth Olympic Games ever. Let’s set the Singapore standard for all future YOG country to follow.
It is said that in the ancient times, countries at war would cease fire during Olympic period so that they can compete in the games. I hope the war of words will cease fire during this Youth Olympic period. We will settle the scores later. Now is not the time.

9 comments

  1. Here’s a response to Brian’s post from Jeremy Lim on Facebook that I really liked. He’s Canadian and in Singapore just for the games.
    “The Vancouver Winter Olympic were 7x over budget – reaching up over $7 billion (CAD); that’s roughly $9.1 billion (SG). Right now, we’re suffering for it. Education and medical programs are being cut in Vancouver. Promises for social housing for our homeless have been broken. There is a lot wrong about the Olympics – but as the post says, there’s a lot of right too. Vancouverites are generally reserved people, but for two weeks, the city came alive. There were naysayers aplenty, and for VERY good reasons, but still, most people sucked it up, dealt with the fact they’d be paying out of their asses for the next 20 years, and enjoyed it. And it was amazing. Money comes and goes – whether its $9.1 billion or $300 million – but memories are forever. You’ve got one chance at this – and Singapore’s awesome at being first – so why not take it?
    Right now, I’m here in Singapore. I’m not getting any sleep, and it’s all on my dollar, but I’m frantically running from stadium to stadium trying to revel in it all because I know what it’s worth in the long run. There’s been a lot of hand shaking, hugging, photo taking, plushie trading, and kindness that wouldn’t happen if we weren’t united under one roof.
    So go outside. Be a part of the spectacle. If we’re paying for it, let’s go all out.
    P.S. Most ticketed events are $10 for non-final events. In Vancouver, our seats started at around $100 (SG). Seriously, there’s a lot of really awesome talent here. Don’t miss out. Go fill those empty seats.”

  2. you have left out one important point in your ‘now is the time…’ list:
    Now is the time to start calling this event the ‘Youth Olympics’, NOT ‘Singapore 2010’ and ‘YOG’, both of which mean nothing!

  3. You know, in Vancouver, we were all apathetic about the Games until it hit, and when it came, it was two of the best weeks the city had ever seen.
    Singapore’s budget (though 3 times over the planned amount) is much smaller, so the Games here will not be as grand as Vancouver’s, but that doesn’t mean the same good won’t happen. If you’d like, I’ll leave you with a couple links on my post-Olympic thoughts from Vancouver:
    http://www.jeremylim.ca/stay-alive-vancouver/
    http://www.colours2010.com/canada/we-stand-on-guard-for-thee/
    There was greatness that came out of the Olympics. Back home, our children will have to pay for our experience, but the friendships and the way our eyes have been opened, I’d argue the $7 billion (or $9 billion Singaporean) was worth it. Not TOTALLY worth it, but worth it.
    So go out and have a blast. You only have seven days left.
    .-= Jeremy Lim´s last blog ..Vancouver Foodster 1-Year Anniversary =-.

  4. thats why i think that netizens (not all, just a good slice of them) are a cynical bunch. While having a healthy dose of scepticism is good, the perpetuation of online negativity fosters an environment where they have to find fault with almost anything. They are just another bunch of Singaporeans who loves to complain. If this keeps up, the “critical mindset” that netizens proudly tout will just be a farce.

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