volunteers


We’ve made it. I frankly never thought it would come, but it has.

It’s with great pride, relief, happiness and sadness that I write this post.

The Games have been delivered, and by my measure (I don’t know about you), it’s been a rip-roaring success.

There was so much joy, moments of despair, many dreams realised, many dreams still to be fulfilled, and a whole lot to be thankful for.

With a lump in my throat the size of Sentosa, I would like to thank:

The athletes: For your determination and athleticism that remind us all how pure sports can be and how it can unite us all.

The organising committee and my crew: I’m thankful for the great bosses,colleagues, partners, vendors, and other awesom people I have had the honour of working with, and my amazing New Media team that has hung in there since we started work on this just over 2 years ago. Amanda, Jialin, Kok Siong, Yee Hon, Victor, Nazif and Adeline: You guys rawk. hard.

To the extended family that have come forward to multiply what we’ve been able to deliver during the Games… STARS and volunteers, you don’t know how incredible you’ve been, and how there wouldn’t be a Games without you. I’m proud to have worked beside each and every one of you.

And finally, thank you dear reader for accompanying me on this 100-stop journey. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

flame

This flame may have gone out, but the Singapore 2010 spirit burns on

Don’t stop believing.

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Although the majority of people here (and even abroad) now seem to understand the beauty and magic of the Youth Olympics, there might still be others who do not understand or miss the point of Singapore hosting the Games.

But rather than me attempting to explain, I thought it would be better if someone else did it. Particularly someone who sees the benefits first hand. This is an email I received recently, which is fairly lengthy, but fully worth reading.

After a year of  preparation 22 youths from more than 250 finally made it to the Youth Olympic Village as Community Project Facilitators in-charge of Circus Arts.

Dressed in an official purple polo tee and smart khaki pants, these youths conducted themselves respectably as Singapore’s ambassadors to their peers from the rest of the world. We could not help feeling really proud of them as they stretched out their hands to introduce themselves followed by “Where are you from and what’s your sport?” They mingled confidently with the crowd and not for a moment would anyone realize  that they are youths-at-risk who had once gotten into trouble of sorts.

Over the last year, we have been offering  students and youths from residential settings the opportunity to serve as a Community Project Facilitator for the Youth Olympics. Eventually, these 22 gathered from a couple of schools, the Bukit Ho Swee neighbourhood and the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home stuck to the regular training where they reached a level of competency that enables them to instruct others. At the village, they  showed the athletes how to juggle, spin a plate, throw a diablo, lift  devil sticks and swing a poi. In the process they were to reinforce the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship.

PM tries it out

It wasn't just athletes that the volunteers taught! 🙂

The idea of reinforcing the Olympic values sounds real nice but can it really be done?

Here are a couple of exchanges between the athletes and our youths and you decide if the idea succeeded:

A  16 year old Israeli basketball player got our youths thinking what it means to persevere for excellence when he shared that he had lived through 2 wars. When asked how he did it, this 16 year old simply shrugged his shoulders and said that he just focused on what he had control over and that was basketball. Our Muslim youths listened respectfully while encouraging him as he fiddled with the diablo. The basketball player was definitely comfortable in the company of our youths and soon they were laughing and gently teasing each other like a bunch of teenagers hanging out.

Another athlete from Yemen could not speak a word of English but she enthusiastically wanted to try out every skill we were imparting. While enthusiastic she was rather self-conscious about her inability to verbally communicate with our youths but she eased up immediately when one of our youths greeted her with the traditional Muslim greeting  Assalamu Alilkum or may god’s peace, mercy and blessings be with you.  Somehow, despite the differences, our youths found a way to find something similar to reach out to these athletes from different lands. Amidst the falling plates and juggling balls rolling all over the place, excellence, respect and friendship stood their ground.

Perhaps being in the company of champions brought out the champion in our youths. Working alongside them, greeting and speaking with the athletes was Yumilka Ruiz Luaces, a 4 time Olympian who has won 2 gold medals and 1 bronze as the Captain of the Cuban women’s volleyball team. Whatever it was, The Youth Olympics has won over these 22 youths whom a year ago could not imagine playing a role in an international event. They are now glad that they hung on and are now eagerly looking forward to their final round of duty this Sunday.

Three cheers to excellence, respect and friendship!
Gerard

Thank you Gerard, and kudos to your 22 volunteers for making this all worth it.

It’s amazing how each day whizzes by before I can even pull up the WordPress page to bang out an entry. I foolishly thought that with the Games under way, that I’d have a little more time to catch up on, and finally finish my #100 entries.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

Between waking up and falling asleep with the TV on, the hours are spent updating the website, sending out newsletters, tweeting, facebook-ing, replying emails, and attending meetings.

I’ve even lost track of the days, being at the Main Media Centre every day for almost 3 weeks now.

wrong

As you can see, even this sign to help us keep track of the days has become outdated

But it’s been fun, even if I don’t get out much.

The size of my team has suddenly exploded by about 20 times, and we are overflowing with content! Stories, photos and videos are spilling out of our ears… (See for yourself > Stories > Photos > Videos)

new media ops room

The New Media Lair in full swing (minus the guys slacking off watching TV)

Despite the significantly larger team (we had a small base to begin with, so any increase seems substantial actually), the job doesn’t exactly get very much easier. Depending on how addicted you are to your job (i.e. you don’t want to go home), there are times where you just zonk out at the desk after 1,034,543 hours on the job.

sleeping on the job

WhyOhGee Editor editing in her sleep. (Not!)

But sometimes we get visitors, and we have to wake up…

alexandra visits

Our friend Alexandra from Rio 2016 visits!

Other times, we take a break to remember that there are other moments that we need to celebrate…

vicson's birthday

Birthday boy Vicson & friends (no interns were harmed in the shooting of this photo)

And the happy/sad thing is, all this is almost over. 🙂 😦

After spending close to 4 months working on Opening and Closing Ceremonies (aka OCC), I’ve started to grown attached to the Floating Platform, the Marina Bay skyline, the people I work with, the performers and the security uncle who always smile at me when I walk in.

This entry documents my last trip camwhoring around the OCC Stage.

I'll miss you both (Tong and Lyo) when YOG ends... Do you know Lyo has an official pass to the Float?

Eugene (one of the NS boys we work with), Tong and I under this roof decoration.

we thought of going swimming in the Reflecting Pool

tried to be Godzillas climbing the props

Got eaten and killed by the Dragon Head

guess what it is?

shaking hands and making friends with the Giant Monster

The coils of tubes are actually those washing machine tubes where the dirty water comes out from

It’s admirable when people forsake their Sunday sleep-ins, and turn up despite a torrential downpour at a location that they’re unfamiliar with at 8.00am+ in the morning for something they probably have never heard of. (Hence the title of this post)

That’s why I think my volunteers rawk.

and this is a sunday!

The workforce that's going to be based at the Main Media Centre

For your information, venex is in no way related to latex, Tex-Mex, or ‘kleenex’. Rather, it’s short for Venue Exercise (yes, we love shortening things!). But no, we didn’t gather really early last Sunday morning to do jumping jacks together. It was for a much more serious reason…

empty chair... don't ask me why

Not the most serious of pictures, I know

neighbours

Our neighbour Robert (from Language Services) explains what we do to his team

We needed to orientate them to the place that would be their home for approximately 2 weeks, get them familiar with what they would be doing during Games Time, and make sure they all knew what to do in an emergency. Sorta like Freshman orientation, just without the silly games.

Where's the sense of urgency??

Victor takes the time to photograph the city skyline during the fire drill. (Don't try this at home kids!)

Mini Me

Volunteer does his impression of "Julian on Sunday morning" (that's my work pass)

It was of course, also nice to see how many of them were real people and weren’t fictitious names floating around in cyberspace.

Turns out we’ve got a good bunch of committed people who we can count on when the weather is at its worst! (think another tree or two might have fallen that morning) Though we were a little overwhelmed when we actually saw how many people we had when they all turned up at once.

Amanda wonders if the mob will eat her alive

Victor tries to tell everyone a joke. haha.

But honest to goodness truth, we’re all infinitely thankful to all of you for showing up on a soggy Sunday, and look forward to working with you for the next 3 weeks or so! 🙂

Rehearsals have been going on daily at at my second home, The Float, where I’m based at. Everyday, I see kids running around in the hot sun rehearsing. My heart really goes out to them. On the other hand, some of them looks like they’re having fun. The Stage’s Reflecting Pool was filled for the Combined Rehearsal on saturday.

performers on the stage

Glorious glorious water

water is good to cool off at a hot rehearsal

I noticed these two girls (who are photographer’s favourites)  and they very kindly agreed to do this short interview for me. Actually, they’re personal friends of mine and I asked them very nicely. (Just between me and you, I bribed them with candy like little kids)

Fiona is on the left and Li Min is on the right

kick and kick, splash and splash

Fiona: I'm strong like a MAN

Name: Fiona Thng Pei Juan
Age: 15
Segment involved : Origins –  dance

3 words to describe your YOG experience so far: Memorable, tiring, unexpected.
2 emotions to describe how you feel: Excited to perform and tiring but worth the efforts.
1 word: how you want the audience to remember your performance:  ENJOYMENT

Smiles for the camera

Name: Pee Li Min
Age: 15
Segment involved : Origins –  dance

3 words to describe your YOG experience so far: Exciting, adventurous, creative
2 emotions to describe how you feel: Exhilarating and optimism
1 word- how you want the audience to remember your performance:  Vibrant

Sunnies makes my day

My own 3 words for my YOG internship will be: Filled with love. Because you can see how much everyone loves this little baby. This baby called YOG.

All the acronyms mess up my mind. Let me recap: CCR is Component Combined Rehearsal and CR is Combined rehearsals. CCR is when we rehearse the show by components. Last wed, 14th Jul, we had Origins component rehearsal which involved quite a few secondary schools like Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary and Orchid Park Secondary. They were down to rehearse their mass dance display item.

So on wednesday we had CCR. Since a picture speaks a thousand words, i’ll let my pictures talk for me:

happily dancing

Until it gets way tooo hot

dance like no one's looking... the night is still young

Can you guess what they're dancing to?

my attempt to be one of them

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