Sports / China

Nanjing Youth Olympics close as spirits pass on

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-28 22:28

NANJING, China - The 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games came to a successful close in East China's Nanjing on Thursday evening after 12 days of competition.

More than 3,700 athletes from around the world competed in 222 events out of 28 sports in arenas and stadiums in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended the closing ceremony of the Games, which ran from August 16-28.

Among those present at the ceremony are International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Djibouti's Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Madagascar's Prime Minister Kolo Roger and other foreign guests.

During the sports gala, the athletes aged 15 to 18 not only staged high-quality competitions, but also attended many social and cultural activities.

"Only some of these young athletes can return home with a medal.

But all of you can return home knowing that you did your very best. This is why you all can be happy. This is why we all are so proud of you," IOC chief Bach said in the closing ceremony.

Bach also had high praises for the host. He said: "These Summer Youth Olympic Games was a resounding success thanks to our wonderful Chinese hosts. All of us, from every corner of the world,

would like to thank the government and the people of China, Jiangsu and Nanjing."

China's Beijing and Zhangjiakou are now in a joint bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, and the successful Youth Olympics in Nanjing will boost China's winning chances of landing the Games.

After winning first place at the medals table in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore, China again finished atop the medals table, winning 37 golds, 13 silvers and 13 bronzes.

Chinese delegation's chef de mission Xiao Tian was satisfied with Chinese athletes' performance, saying, "they not only achieved good results but also took part in many cultural and educational activities."

The Youth Olympics, a sporting event tailor-made for the youth of the world, has actively tried to distinguish itself from the Olympic Games in terms of the program settings. Inline skating, skateboarding and rock climbing have been included as the showcase sports. Besides, Wushu (Chinese martial arts) was selected as the cultural and educational activity.

As a gathering of the youth from around the world, the Youth Olympics has evolved not only as a sporting event, but a platform for cultural and educational campaigns.

The conception of Youth Olympics was proposed by former International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. Singapore held the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010.

The 3rd Summer Youth Olympics will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.

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