Six Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes reveal their lighter sides

Ynez Lim Si Ying, 15

School: St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School

Sport: Windsurfing (Techno 293)

A juicy secret: I am a bit of a clean freak.

Most embarrassing blooper: When one of my teammates said: "Eh, YOG sailor there!" And I was, like: "OMG, where, where?" It turned out they were referring to me.

Dylan Koo Long Hai, 15

School: Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

Sport: Swimming (100m and 200m butterfly)

YOG targets: To achieve a time of 55.99sec for the 100m butterfly and 2min 1sec for the 200m butterfly

What he will miss most when in Nanjing: My pillow. It has been with me since I was born. You can imagine its condition now.

Pre-tournament ritual: My parents always give me a high five before I report to the poolside officials. After reporting, I put on my headphones and listen to my pre-race play list (Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson is a must-listen) while visualising my race plan.

Favourite hobbies: Reading fiction (my favourite: the Twilight series).

A juicy secret: Actress Jennifer Lawrence is hot! She is also smart (she graduated from high school with a 3.9 grade point average), athletic and seems confident and at ease with herself.

Most embarrassing blooper: During the YOG flag presentation at the Sports Hub last month, which I attended with two of my YOG teammates (Nur Marina Chan and Samantha Yeo), the media clamoured to interview everyone - except me. No one knew who I was and I was left to my own devices. Finally, a reporter came up to me and asked: "Are you Darren Lim (a fellow swimmer)?" I learnt something that day: If I could get over this embarrassment, there is really nothing much else that can get to me.

Top of his bucket list: Do a shark cage dive and have coffee with Mark Zuckerberg.

Samantha Yom Jing Yi, 15

School: Raffles Girls' School

Sport: Sailing (Byte CII)

YOG target: To finish among the top five in her event

Favourite food: I love Nutella, so anything with Nutella.

Most embarrassing blooper: Once, I was leading a race by a considerable distance and was certain I would win. In my excitement, however, I lost control of the boat and capsized. Twice! I didn't win in the end.

Nadine Joy Nathan, 15

School: Raffles Girls' School

Sport: Artistic Gymnastics

YOG targets: To, hopefully, win a medal and to enjoy the experience

Favourite hobbies: Craft activities, such as scrapbooking and knitting. I also love to read.

What she is looking forward to in Nanjing: Meeting other athletes from all over the world and getting to know them.

Jonathan Chan, 17: School: Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

Sport: Diving (10m individual platform)

YOG target: To finish among the top 10

First thing he will do if he wins: I will make a post on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram!

What he loves most about Singapore: The rainy mornings.

A juicy secret: I just had my wisdom tooth extracted.

Most embarrassing blooper: My trunks came off after a dive!

Bernie Chin, 15

School: Raffles Institution

Sport: Sailing (Byte CII)

YOG target: To finish among the top three in his event

First thing he will do if he wins: Call my parents and inform them about the win, then buy an ice-cream cone and a slice of chocolate cake to reward myself.

A juicy secret: I have a special liking for Circle Of Life by Elton John (a song from Disney's 1994 animated film, The Lion King).

Most embarrassing blooper: In one of my first few regattas, I ended the race, happily thinking I had finished among the top few sailors. However, I was disqualified (also known as a DSQ) instead! It turns out I forgot to round the mark (an object in the water which boats must go around, as part of the competition), so I was given a DSQ for sailing the wrong course.

This article was first published on August 11, 2014.
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