Rachel and I attended the Singapore Summer Youth Olympics Game (SYOG) Opening Ceremony a few hours ago at the The Float @ Marina Bay.
Via Wikipedia. The opening ceremony took place on 14 August, commencing at exactly 20:10 hours (GMT +8) in reference to the year 2010. The ceremony took 750 hours of rehearsals with 7,000 performers. The Youth Olympic cauldron was lit by Singaporean youth sailor Darren Choy.
The SYOG event saw an attendance of over 27,000 people. Just look at the pictures, human beings look like ants in many of the shots.
It took us less than 15 min to zip past security checks, walk from the Marina Square entry point to The Float, collect our cheer packs, locate our section and get ourselves seated in one of the few remaining seats in the higher rows. Considering the large amount of people, I felt that was quite an achievement as the crowd-control was orderly and the staff were polite.
Overall, Rachel and I quite enjoyed the multi-sensory assault that was the opening ceremony performances. While we definitely cannot match the Beijing Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony (15,000 performers, cost over US$100 million to produce), the 7000 over performers still put up a good show, befitting of the event’s scale.
The surrounding water was put to good use, reflecting the various light-filled displays, from laser shows to sporadic fireworks. I particularly liked the large pool of shallow water onstage which the performers had to pass through when entering and exiting – the reflections were exquisite.
The only unpleasant experience we had was after the ceremony had ended and we were not allowed to make our way out of the venue. The exit stairways were all barricaded and members of the audience were instructed to remain seated til all the athletes had made their way out. Some kiasu Singaporeans were yelling and ambushing the poor young YOG volunteers left to guard the various barricaded stairways. Singapore is the host for this Olympics game, and, as citizens, we should act like one too.
Otherwise, Rachel and I had an enjoyable evening. I know there’s a lot of negative sentiment on the SYOG floating online, but give it a break lah. Yes, the budget was exceeded and there were some glitches here and there. Nonetheless, it is still the first time Singapore is hosting such a truly international event. Other than the government’s efforts, it’s really the ordinary Singaporeans like you, me and 12-year-old Low Wei Jie who make the difference.
Rachel and I are now inspired to at least watch and support some of the sporting events in the next 12 days, despite our initial indifference. 🙂
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