BY SOH LI YIN
IN A time-honoured tradition, an Olympic Flame is borne around the world before arriving at last to a host country.
This time, it was Singapore's turn to receive the Youth Olympic Flame, which arrived yesterday at Changi Airport's VIP complex at about 2.20pm.
Mr Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC), held the flame.
He was greeted by a small party of YOG dignitaries, officials and athletes, who cheered and applauded as he descended from the plane with the flame, contained inside a safety box.
Mr Ng had travelled to Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul with the flame, saying that the journey was "really incredible". The five cities represent each of the continents whose athletes are participating in the YOG.
He added that the journey "connected Singapore to the rest of the world".
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, was also present to receive the flame. He hopes it will inspire Singaporeans "to reflect upon its values".
He added: "This will be the first, possibly the only chance in our lifetime, that the flame will be here."
The flame will be used to light the cauldron next Saturday during the YOG Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the inaugural Games. It will last two weeks and involve some 3,600 young athletes - aged between 14 and 18 years - from over 200 countries.
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