Last night, as the family and I gathered round the TV to watch the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, I couldn’t help feeling a great sense of pride as I watched my home country revel in this historic moment.
While we may never have the capacity to host the actual Olympic Games, I truly feel that the YOG is as good as it gets. For a country as young as we are, hosting the YOG couldn’t be more fitting.
We’ve certainly come a long way since our days of old, and I think the Opening Ceremony was very eager to show the world how much Singapore has progressed. It was a very spectacular display – set on a floating platform, no less – with a barrage of fireworks, complete with a freakin’ REFLECTION POOL, which seriously? Made everything a lot more pretty than I ever dreamed possible. Already, I have a great fondness for the Float@Marina Bay, especially with the gorgeous Singapore skyline as it’s backdrop. But now that there’s a reflection pool, I’m gonna expect all future creative/show directors to incorporate that every National Day Parade.
Of course I do have some criticisms about the Opening Ceremony: I didn’t feel like there was a tight connection between acts; that “monster” could have been less juvenile-looking (these are teenagers after all, not children); and many flag bearers’ inability to follow their corresponding delegates (while admittedly very laughable) clearly indicated the lack of direction. Nonetheless, I loved that students were so involved in this. It is, after all, the Games for the youth. And even though many of them can’t participate in the actual Games, being a part of this certainly comes close.
Speaking of which, I’m still baffled by the Ministry of Education’s decision to NOT let the students go on an official break during this period. There’s really no better time for sports to be promoted in schools than this, so why stifle their potential interest? So 13 days may seem too long. But the Ministry could always take a more structured approach by allocating specific schedules to the schools so the students get to watch at least one or two competitions. Then again, perhaps I’m not seeing the possible repercussions. I mean, there’s a reason why I’m no government official, right?
It’s funny how I was very emotionally uninvolved in the YOG before this. But after watching the Opening Ceremony, my interest has definitely been piqued and now, I can’t wait to find pockets of time so I can catch some of the Games. And I hope, in all honesty, as the Flame sitting atop that gorgeous lighthouse cauldron (LOVE the idea, by the way) continues to flicker over the 13 days, it will further establish this tiny but significant island as that metaphorical beacon it so wishes to become.
Check out more photos from the Opening Ceremony here.