Thank you, Lion Cubs

I must have been one of the biggest skeptics of the inaugural Games, but over the last 12 days, I’ve been treated to some of the best things it has brought to our shores.

I’m just hoping we’ll forget trying to show the world how we can do this and do that – it may take several more decades before we break the stupid inferiority complex that makes us call ourselves ‘the little red dot’ – but instead savor and remember the enthusiasm and joy some of these kids have shown the older cynics like me.

If you’ve been hiding underneath a rock, let me tell you now, that Boys’ Own stuff was demonstrated in the bronze medal football match by our own Lion Cubs even with their captain Jeffrey Lightfoot having been taken off early in the game for a nasty gash that required stitches.

Our boys went and, according to their coach, overplayed their hand, disobeyed coaching instructions, and smacked four goals past the boys from Montenegro.

It’s been a long, long time since a local football team’s photo graced the front pages of our news broadsheets, and just as long since one packed a stadium. I’d have bet that if the National Stadium had hosted the Cubs for the Games, the Kallang Roar would’ve made a comeback and scared the crap out of people riding in the Singapore Flyer.

Thank you, our home-grown boys.

Day 5 Football (19 Aug 2010)

Very full now, just ate my words

I watched snippets of the YOG opening ceremony, and spent another hour on the Youth Olympic News Channel on Starhub TV watching interviews and re-runs and wondered why they didn’t have that on earlier. I learned many things about the Games and the athletes participating which should have been in the local media but wasn’t.

But back to the Opening Ceremony. It was very impressive, right down to the giant monster that a boy, who was later interviewed on YON Channel, described as “very fluffy”.

You guys pulled off a great show – which was the only thing needed to get this bloody country to rally behind you. No need for calls to be gracious and fines to be imposed should those calls be unheeded.

The icing on the cake this weekend for me, a non-soccer fan, was the home-grown Singapore youth football team beating, nay, thrashing the daylights out of the hitherto cocky Zimbabweans, who had earlier predicted a 5-0 routing of our Lion Cubs. I was thrilled to see such an exuberant performance from a team from our shores.

If they grow up playing like this, we might just hear the Kallang Roar again (ok, and after they demolish and rebuild the National Stadium, and ask to be part of the Malaysia Cup again too).

Keep at it, boys. Show the older sporting folk how it’s done – by throwing everything at the opposition.

Top points also to the 12 year old boy who ran after the torch and single-handedly restored meaning to the Olympic torch relay after it had been inexplicably given legs by Mediacorp (yah, I know, WTF?) artistes on the first day.

My words go down well with a tall glass of wheat beer, by the way.

Games of the 1st Youth Olympiad, Singapore 2010
Har? #sgflood again?

Support YOG, wear this t-shirt

Tired of people saying you should be interested in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games? Then wear this t-shirt and support our organisers! Buy this and other apparel and accessories at my cafepress shop made specially for the occasion.

Proceeds will be donated to a charity which I haven’t decided on.

What are you waiting for? Blaze the Trail! Hold the Torch! Burn the Flame! Pass This On!

Is the YOG really a shambles?

For a world’s first ever event, the PR efforts are really really poor. I had to ask around several times where the opening ceremony was (because I have a nephew visiting from Canada, and he’s really into his sport), and no-one knew.

Some said the Padang, some said the National Stadium Oh Wait They Took The Grass and Seats Off Already.

The website took me several clicks before I found for sure where it was going to be held.

By now, I should have known at least some of the star athletes competing, some of their stories of triumphing over poverty and other odds, but I don’t.

By now, I should have known what the medals look like, where it was minted, how heavy it was, but I don’t.

It’s as if MCYS took on the project thinking, “if we host it, everything else will fall into place”, forgetting that you’ve got a press who’ll only print what you give them to print, and won’t be motivated to look any further.

The only interest I have in the YOG right now is how much of a shambles it’s going to turn out to be, and how embarrassed we’re going to be for hosting it.

I do hope to eat my own words though.

No torch, no medals, no records, no nothing…

Image from

The torch relay bypassed Singapore probably because protests are only to be held indoors, with a licence, in designated areas. I dunno.

Then there’s news that the Youth Olympics might be a Games without medals or records. That is the sucks! Might as well not have athletes.

I mean, they even give out prizes in primary schools for egg and spoon races and I personally would have had a record in my school’s hall of shame for most number of eggs broken.