The city of Nanjing is expected to be filled with youthful enthusiasm, as the historic Chinese city will host the second Asian Youth Games and the second Youth Olympic Games in the summers of 2013 and 2014.
The Asian Youth Games is an international multi-sport event held every four years. The first edition was hosted by Singapore as a test in preparation for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, which was held one year later by that country.
The second Asian Youth Games will be held from Aug 16-24 in Nanjing in 2013. The age range for athletes is 14-17 and there will be 118 events in 15 sports. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium, which has 13,000 seats. The athletes' village will be on the new campus of the Nanjing University of Technology in Jiangpu district, the organizing committee said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
"The core concept of holding the Youth Olympic Games is to combine sports with cultural education. We want to play down the emphasis on athletics and winning gold medals. The Asian Youth Games came into being after the Youth Olympic Games to carry forward the same idea," said Liu Yi'an, vice-president of the Nanjing Asian Youth Games Organizing Committee.
"Athletes have to reach certain standards to compete at the Olympics. For the Asian Youth Games and the Youth Olympic Games will allocate certain quotas for each country to participate in the event even though they (the athletes) may not have qualified in ordinary circumstances."
In addition to the competitions, athletes will take part in cultural activities throughout the eight-day event, including visiting local families and communities to acquire more knowledge about Chinese culture.
Also, the torch relay will be held in virtual communities on-line, and will combine cartoon characters and cultural elements of different Asian countries to boost the participation of youngsters. The organizers will also choose some cities for small-scale real torch passes.