03 August 2010

Youth Olympic Village is ready

Youth Olympic Village ready for YOG athletes and officials@CNA

SINGAPORE: With about two weeks to the official August 10 opening of the Youth Olympic Village at the campus of Nanyang Technological University, organisers say they are ready to welcome the athletes and officials.

The Village Square is where the athletes and officials will rest and relax, and it'll be filled with activities that will leave a lasting impression.

Director of the Culture and Education Programme for the Youth Olympic Games, Lee Pak Sing says: "We have this interesting project called the Photoscape, where we'll take pictures of every athlete and these pictures will be immortalised in the Youth Olympic Park. So when they come back 10 or 20 years from now, they can see their own pictures and say, "Hey look! This is me at the first YOG"."

Over at the dining hall, a temporary kitchen that will serve 22,000 meals a day. Athletes will also have a different dish for 10 days.

It's an elaborate menu that took four to five months to plan.

Head of Catering for the Youth Olympic Village, David Leong says: "During the European theme, we have things like the beef goulash, we have stewed lamb and things like that. For Asia, we'll have our chicken rice, so that it's in sync with the CEP programmes. We also have other things like pizza and pasta which the kids will love.

And during certain days, six days onwards, we have treat stalls. They'll have chicken wings, french fries, these are by the side, and coaches will tell the teams whether they're allowed to eat or not."

There's also a discotheque that will belt out the latest hip hop music - where only soft drinks are served, and a gymnasium that can accommodate 150 people at any one time.

Those who need medical attention can visit the clinic, where condoms will also be made available.

Organisers stressed that the intention is not to widely distribute condoms as some athletes are minors. But they're provided by UNAIDS - the Joint United Nations Programmes on HIV and Aids.

The Residential Zone will be the private corner for athletes and officials.

There are about 4,000 rooms, and all of them will be tended to by professional cleaners. Bed linen will be changed every two days. The committee is expecting about 5,600 bags of laundry to be handled every single day.

With all the amenities in place, organisers are working to ensure that this western corner of Singapore becomes a "home away from home".

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