In the next incarnation of the Olympic Movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today announced a team of 60 athletes who will compete and partake in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, which run August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
The flag bearer who will lead the first-ever Canadian Youth Olympic Team into the Opening Ceremony is swimmer Jeremy Bagshaw. Born in Singapore, he moved with his family to Victoria at the age of five. There, he competes with the Island Swimming Club and holds the national record in the 400-metre freestyle (age group 15-17). He has been competing nationally since 2004 and said he aims to reach the podium in Singapore and suit up for Canada again two years later at the London Olympic Games.
"This will be an exciting, unique and eye-opening experience for Canada's top young athletes," said Caroline Assalian, COC Executive Director, Olympic Preparation and Games. "The Youth Olympic Games are a tremendous opportunity for them to compete in an international multi-sport environment, while they also will become leaders and ambassadors of the Olympic Movement.
"For me, being selected flag bearer is a huge honour," said Bagshaw. "It would be an honour for any athlete, but I was born in Singapore and to lead Canada into the Games there makes me extremely proud. It will be incredible to lead all the athletes into a Games like this."
These Games represent a new brand of the Olympic Movement. New generations of young Canadians will become engaged and develop a deeper understanding for the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. These values will be front and centre, explored in the Culture and Education Program, which will be unveiled in Singapore. The Games will include all current 26 Olympic summer sports, as well as new mixed-gender events and new formats such as three-on-three basketball, head to head canoe-kayak and a combination of BMX, mountain biking and road biking.
Canada’s 60 athletes will participate in 18 sports, supported by 23 coaches and eight mission team members. The full list will be found online, as a PDF, at http://www.olympic.ca/en/newgames/youth-olympic-games/2010-singapore/. They represent six provinces as well as the Yukon Territory. The athletes will compete for the first Youth Olympic medals, which are designed by Montreal’s Setsuko Fukuzawa, who won a global International Olympic Committee contest for the high honour.
Journalists and sport fans alike may find a downloadable media guide at Olympic.ca featuring sport descriptions and short bios of all Canadian Youth Olympians.
For news and results during the Games visit Olympic.ca, which will also post daily wrap-up reports on the Team’s activities. You can also keep abreast of developments in Singapore by following the Canadian Olympic Team and the Canadian Youth Olympic Team on Facebook, as well as @CDNOlympicTeam on Twitter.