(ATR) IOC president Jacques Rogge tells Around the Rings he’s "delighted" to see so many Youth Olympians from Singapore 2010 performing "so well" at London 2012.
"Chad le Clos is, of course, the most high-profile of the group, having beaten the most decorated Olympian of all time," he says, referring to the South African swimmer’s upset of Michael Phelps to win 200m butterfly gold by just .05 seconds.
"But there are some other YOG alumni putting in outstanding performances as well," adds the IOC president, "and all should be congratulated."
Youth Olympian in sport shooting Bahia Al-Hamad is making history in London as part of the Gulf state’s first-ever female delegation to the Games. In fact, she starred in the opening ceremony as her country’s flag-bearer of choice.
The first athlete from Singapore to actually medal in London, however, is Team GB gymnast Sam Oldham. After winning gold in horizontal bars and silver in pommel horse at the 2010 YOG, he helped the home team win a historic bronze in Monday’s men’s team final.
A day later, fellow gymnast Victoria Komova, the all-around champ from Singapore, led Russia to a runner-up finish in the women’s team event. She would also win silver two days later in the all-around.
And, of course, there’s Le Clos, 20, who famously clipped Phelps – his idol growing up and someone he got to know in Singapore, where the 21-time medalist served as YOG Ambassador.
After their showdown Tuesday night, the two faced off again late Friday in the 100m butterfly final with Phelps winning his third straight gold in the event and Le Clos tying for silver.
According to the IOC Olympic Studies Center, a total of 154 participants from two summers ago are set to represent their countries again this year. That number is, of course, unofficial until the last of those athletes enters the field of play in London.
Rogge appears to take pride in this apparent success of the YOG, a pet project of sorts throughout his IOC presidency.
"Their accomplishments here have underscored the importance of the Youth Olympic Games as a platform to educate and prepare young athletes for the world’s biggest sporting stage," he tells ATR.
Reported by Matthew Grayson
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