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Youth Olympics close in style

A spectacular closing ceremony at Marina Bay marked the end of the Youth Olympic Games as 12 days of competition officially came to a close in Singapore on Thursday.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge had earlier declared that the inaugural event for 14 to 18-year-olds had surpassed all expectations and the island nation brought the curtain down with a vibrant and colourful show.

Proceedings opened with an elaborate dance routine set to contemporary music before Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Rogge were introduced and the Singapore national anthem sung.

The emphasis was clearly on entertaining the younger members of the audience and a local boyband were next on stage, with people dressed as Olympic torches forming a heart behind them before spelling out "blazing the trail" all set to a backdrop of pyrotechnics.

Around 3600 young Olympians then ran on to surround the circular platform before a stunning firework display lit up the Singaporean night sky.

A montage of the Games' most memorable and iconic moments followed and the efforts of the thousands of volunteers were also recognised.

Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the organising committee, then delivered a speech praising the athletes and declaring the Youth Olympics as Rogge's legacy before going on to thank Prime Minister Lee and everyone involved in delivering the Games in just two-and-a-half years.

Rogge echoed Ng's sentiments before declaring the Games closed. The Olympic flag was lowered during the singing of the Olympic anthem and was handed over to Nanjing mayor Ji Jianye with the Chinese city hosting the second edition in 2014.

The Olympic flame was then extinguished and a successful inaugural Youth Olympic Games came to a close.


From Belfast Telegraph