Today, OMEGA, the Official Timekeeper, marked exactly one year to go to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games by unveiling the Countdown Clock that will tick away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Opening Ceremony.
The unveiling ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of spectators, saw performances from young people accompanied by Chinese drummers, a breathtaking routine executed by silk aerialists and a special appearance by the official mascot, NANJINGLELE.
The celebrations also featured a film made up of historic Olympic footage and scenery from Nanjing, along with images highlighting OMEGA’s long-standing timekeeping role.
On hand for the unveiling were OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart and IOC members Yang Yang, Yu Zaiqing and Gerhard Heiberg, who gave a short speech. The City of Nanjing’s deputy mayors, Liu Yian and Qi Lu, were also present at the event.
The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, said in a recorded message: “In exactly one year, Nanjing will welcome the world’s best young athletes for the second edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the talented Organising Committee team, Nanjing will certainly host a wonderful and memorable YOG.”
He added: “These Games will offer the chance to witness something very special – the Olympic champions of the future. They will inspire young people around the world to become more active in sport and encourage them to embrace, embody and live by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.”
In addition to the six-metre-high Countdown Clock in Xinjiekou Square, OMEGA has installed a four-metre version at the entrance to the NYOGOC office.
OMEGA first served as Official Olympic Timekeeper at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games and has also provided its timekeeping and data-handling services to the Youth Olympic Games since their inception in Singapore in 2010.
The second edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held from 16 to 28 August in Nanjing, China. The sports programme will feature 28 sports, including golf and rugby sevens, as well as unique disciplines such as 3-on-3 basketball and 5-a-side hockey, as well as mixed-gender and mixed-NOC events.