2,400 torchbearers to take part in six-day Singapore journey of the Youth Olympic flame

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Singapore, Monday, August 2, 2010 — The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) today announced the 2,400 torchbearers who will take part in the first-ever Olympic torch relay to be held in Singapore.

Aged 11 to 82, the majority of the torchbearers come from many sectors of Singapore society – from students and national servicemen to entertainers, social activists and people from the business community. Athletes both experienced and youthful also have a strong presence, many of whom are from Singapore’s Youth Olympic Games contingent.

After a three month-long, island-wide search for torchbearers who embody the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect, including an open call for public applications, more than 500 organisations have taken part in the torchbearer nomination exercise and chosen their representatives to run in the Singapore leg of the Olympic flame’s journey.

Also running in the relay are torchbearers from 39 different countries, reflecting Singapore’s cosmopolitan city and the high level of international participation in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Torchbearers with inspiring stories to tell

Living out a once-in-a-lifetime dream, 82-year-old former hockey player Ajit Singh, 17-year-old Alan Tan Jian Hong and 52-year-old Koh-Leong Swee Ling are among the torchbearers who will be carrying the torch from the heartlands to the financial district and Marina Bay, passing schools, parks and iconic landmarks along their way. Each of them will be running a distance of 100m, with some taking special means of transport such as a dragonboat, bicycle, skateboard and even a flying fox.

Ajit Singh, 82, will be the oldest torchbearer in relay. Born in Malaya, he moved to Singapore at 23 and represented Malaya in hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. An executive committee member of the Singapore Olympians Association, he lives by the motto ‘Once an Olympian, always an Olympian’ and keeps active by playing golf regularly.

Alan Tan Jian Hong, 17, is with the Movement for Intellectually Disabled of Singapore. Born with Down’s syndrome, he has overcome his disability to become a school prefect, an exemplary pupil and an excellent sportsman, participating in events like the Special Olympics Singapore National Games and the National Vertical Marathon.

Dunman High School Mathematics teacher Mrs Koh-Leong Swee Ling, a passionate water conservation activist, will be carrying the torch on a boat across the Marina Bay. The award-winning educator has worked tirelessly for her cause, always seeking innovative ways to impress upon youths the importance of conserving Singapore’s precious water resources.

Other torchbearers include mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow, pop star JJ Lin and international athletes Yelena Isinbayeva, and pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, who is also the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission Chairman for the first Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Singaporeans invited to cheer the Flame

The Flame Arrival Ceremony on 6 August will be held at the National University of Singapore. More than 750 performers are putting on a spectacular show with a float parade and choreographed mass formations to welcome the Youth Olympic flame to Singapore after its journey to five cities across the globe.

Singaporeans are invited to cheer the torchbearers on as they pass their schools, offices and homes. Members of the public can view the entire torch relay route and the list of torchbearers at the Singapore 2010 website, where they will also be able to track the movements of the Youth Olympic flame ‘live’ via GPS.

Each morning, the Olympic flame will be officially launched and at the end of the relay day, a school will play host to a community celebration, where the public is invited to witness the lighting of the cauldron and enjoy an evening of festivities.

The grand finale of the Olympic flame’s journey will be held on August 13th at the Promontory @ Marina Bay, where Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew will light the cauldron and officially open Celebration @ Marina Bay.

Dr Francis Chong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SYOGOC, said: “The Journey of the Youth Olympic flame in Singapore will be an exciting prelude to the Games. As the Youth Olympic Games marks a new chapter in the Olympic Movement, the torchbearers are counting on their friends, family and neighbours as well as all of Singapore to make their experience a remarkable and unforgettable one. We invite everyone to join in the fun with us!”

Supporters of the torch relay can plan their itinerary ahead of time and get updates of the route at: http://www.singapore2010.sg/jyof

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