The Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will feature over 3,500 athletes aged between 15 and 18 years old competing in 28 sports including shooting, wrestling and fencing.
Basketball is played as a 3-on-3 game. Field hockey will have a 7-side format. There’s also an ice hockey skills challenge with additional mixed gender events unique to the YOG. Golf and rugby sevens will be included for the first time in the Olympic roster ahead of their debut in Rio 2016.
Over the course of 12 days more than 130 nations including Jordan, Colombia and Luxemborg will be represented. The host country leads in the table of athletic entrants followed by South Korea.
This is the second Summer YOG with the first taking place in 2010 in Singapore having first been established in 2007. The third Summer YOG will be in Buenos Aires in Argentina in 2018.
Culture and Education
It is the only elite youth sporting event with a cultural and education program (CEP). Promoting values such as creativity and self-awareness to young people. Embodied in the official slogan of “Share the Games, Share our Dreams”.
The five themes of the program are: the benefits of sports and healthy lifestyles, social responsibility, skills development, expression and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect (Olympism).
The CEP extends beyond sports with young athletes taking part in “learn and share” sessions where topics covered include: career management, anti-doping, nutrition and team-building.
The non-athlete participants are an integral part of the YOG.
Athlete Role Models
More than 40 previous Olympians and World Champions will attend the YOG to mentor young participants. They will offer support and advice through “Chats with Champions” informal talks and workshops.
The YOG are being promoted by 104 ambassadors from across the globe aged between 18 and 25 who are athletes, coaches, students or young professionals. They are encouraging their peers to take part in activities demonstrating Olympism while sharing their experiences through social media.
Reporters aged between 18 and 24 will participate in a cross-platform journalist-training program gaining on-the-job experience working alongside professionals.
Local students are benefitting from the YOG with a school and college program encouraging participation. Students are being provided the opportunity to try Olympic sports like hockey.
One non-athlete participant who symbolizes the entire games is the brightly coloured mascot Nanjinglele. Its shaped like riverstones which are natural feature of the region. The name “lele” sounds like the Chinese word for happiness.
Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
The focus will be on the complex which is based in Hexi New City on the Yangtze River. It has a holding capacity of more than 60,000. There is a stadium, arena, gymnasium, natatorium, media centre and tennis centre all within close proximity of each other.
The main stadium with its two distinctive red arches will be the focus for the opening and closing ceremonies. It will also host 37 athletics events between 20 to 26 August with more than 600 competitors vying for medals.
Aquatics will be held in the natatorium which is based in the northeastern part of the stadium. Swimming events will take place between 17 to 22 August with approximately 400 young athletes taking part. It will be followed by diving which takes place between 23 to 27 August, as 48 divers take part in five events.
Gymnastics, beach volleyball, cycling, field hockey and rugby will also take place in the complex. The modern pentathlon events will take place both here and at Nanjing International Expo Centre.
Wutaishan Sports Centre
Based in the centre of Nanjing it will be home to the basketball events between 18 and 26 August. It will also host table tennis between 17 to 23 August.
The football events will take place both here and at the Jiangning Sports Centre between 14 to 27 August.
Nanjing International Expo Centre
Boxing, fencing, taekwondo and weightlifting will be based in this landmark venue which is in the centre of Hexi New City.
The modern pentathlon events will take place both here and at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.
The Nanjing International Expo Centre is located opposite the business district. It’s approximately 30 minutes away from LuKou International Airport Expressway, Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway and Xinshengwei 10-thousand-ton Port.
Fangshan Sports Training Base
The training base located in the south east of the Nanjing City. It will host mens, womens and mixed events for archery and shooting. The shooting events will come first beginning from 17 to 22 August. Followed by archery held between 20 to 26 August.
The lake is located in the central north-east part of Nanjing it will host rowing from 17 to 20 August. The triathlon events will take place simultaneously from 17 to 21 August as 64 young athletes compete for gold.
Jiangning Sports Centre
The multi-purpose sports complex is based in the southeast of Nanjing. It will be host to football between 14 to 27 August with matches also taking place Wutaishan Sports Centre as 216 athletes compete to score a goal. Handball will be hosted here between 20 to 25 August.
The next generation of athletic and media stars will first come to the stage at the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games to “Share the Games, Share our Dreams”.