It was a defining moment, when in the middle of the sport validation exercise earlier this month, my colleague from Sports & Venue division said, “My week days and weekends are now seamless.” And I was wondering why the weeks had been so long.

With just 44 days to go before the Games start, the days are frantic, filled with short quick meetings along corridors, people flowing in and out of the office for discussion, the work piling up so fast and furious that no matter how I try to stretch it, the night is no longer enough to get through them. I wonder if I should stop sleeping altogether.

In the midst of madness, I attended the event announcing the 38 torchbearers from the Voluntary Welfare Organisations; eight of them were introduced.

Perhaps it was the venue – Black Box Theatre, but there was something special when each of the eight torchbearers stepped into the spotlight to be introduced.

Joseph Kwok attends bike patrols along the Singapore River with Waterways Watch Society to ensure the cleanliness of the Marina.

Oliver Lim volunteers for WWF Singapore and promotes conservation.

Cheng Siew Peng, born with joint laxity in her right knee, trained and represented Singapore at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai in 2007, and won a Gold medal in the 800m run and two Silver medals in the 400m run and 4x 100m relay.

Wesley Rui, who suffers from Autistic Spectrum Disorder, overcame challenges to compete in interclub horse riding competitions alongside able-bodied athletes.

Choo Puishan takes the lead in environmental advocacy and preservation, youth-mentorship and programmes promoting education, understanding and cohesion with the elderly.

Solehin Bin Aliaf motivates his fellow teammates to strive for excellence in soccer and character through his action and positive attitude.

Evon Chua is a fundraiser for the Singapore Children’s Society.

Kelly Huang, a gang leader during her teen years, now works with youth-at-risk.

Coming out of this afternoon’s event, I was glad that we have the Youth Olympic Games, for I got to know about these eight individuals.

And that the 38 individuals, each with their own inspiring stories, will have the chance to share them with others by being the torchbearers at the Singapore leg of the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame next month.

I was reminded that the YOG is special not just because we are organising the inaugural Games or the biggest sporting event in Singapore, but we are here to provide a platform to celebrate ordinary people leading extraordinary lives.

And that there was meaning in the madness.

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