Is the YOG really a shambles?

For a world’s first ever event, the PR efforts are really really poor. I had to ask around several times where the opening ceremony was (because I have a nephew visiting from Canada, and he’s really into his sport), and no-one knew.

Some said the Padang, some said the National Stadium Oh Wait They Took The Grass and Seats Off Already.

The website took me several clicks before I found for sure where it was going to be held.

By now, I should have known at least some of the star athletes competing, some of their stories of triumphing over poverty and other odds, but I don’t.

By now, I should have known what the medals look like, where it was minted, how heavy it was, but I don’t.

It’s as if MCYS took on the project thinking, “if we host it, everything else will fall into place”, forgetting that you’ve got a press who’ll only print what you give them to print, and won’t be motivated to look any further.

The only interest I have in the YOG right now is how much of a shambles it’s going to turn out to be, and how embarrassed we’re going to be for hosting it.

I do hope to eat my own words though.

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20 thoughts on “Is the YOG really a shambles?”

  1. I think you're being a little harsh…there's a menu item for opening ceremony along the top, then it's pretty clear from there. If anything, just poor website design.

    This being the first YOG ever, I think nobody knows how 'big' to treat it, or how exactly to market it…there are a handful of well-known names amongst the athletes, but the majority are just unknown youngsters.

  2. The recent World Cup can be the benchmark for a successful event management at such a mammoth scale… [if it has really been successful, lah] did they get enough hints / lessons / tips from there?

  3. Worked with some factions of the Organizing Committee last year. People in charge had no idea what they were doing, push ideas to be smaller and more corny, and bargain with suppliers like buying fish at the market. S'pore may be experts at organization and efficiency, but there has been zero vision behind this execution.

    Also why bury the word “OLYMPIC” with all its impact & cachet in an obscure acronym that nobody outside Singapore (and not too many in Singapore) even knows the meaning of? Not everyone is acronym-happy like SG govt. Do you think the next hosts of the Games will also call it YOG? By the same token, should the World Cup be called WC or Olympic Games, OG?

  4. i was at the YOG combined rehearsal and omg, it was terrible. people started walking out 20% into the ceremony and by the time the ceremony was about 70% through, the exits were completely swarmed.

    the camera work was shoddy, the video screens weren't functioning well, the choreography was pretty bad, the emcees were hardly inspiring, and there were way too many people on a parade floor that was too small for them. the only plus was the mixed multimedia – the combination of animations, dances, live music etc was pretty ingenious.

    yet, all i could think of throughout the whole rehearsal was this: i hope they drastically improve or the ceremony is going to be a huge embarrassment of Singapore to the world.

  5. Why are we so concerned about measuring the success of the YOG based on the PR efforts of the event/the organisational details? The actual games have not even started and we are already being harsh on every single detail. It is the values of sportsmanship that YOG is tying to pass on to the youths today. This YOG is about the youths and the future star athletes. These young athletes have trained hard and all they want is a chance to do themselves and their nation proud. Same goes for our young Singaporean athletes.

    No one is asking you to volunteer for the YOG, neither has the YOG caused you any incovenience. So why should you make such remarks: “The only interest I have in the YOG right now is how much of a shambles it’s going to turn out to be.”
    I do hope you mean it when you say that you hope to eat your own words.

  6. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=426192

    I guess we have seen lots of complaints about the YOG everywhere. Be it on blogs, newspapers, ST forum, etc. What's the big deal about YOG? Why is Singapore spending so much on it? Do we really care about it? Is it just another big wayang? Why must we give way to the YOG buses? And what's with the Olympic lane? Aren't our roads not congested enough?

    Frankly, from the day Singapore showed it's bid for the YOG, I was a cynic. What's the big deal? It is something for us to feel good about, since we can never be an Olympic host city? Hype? What hype?

    Over the past month, I was proven wrong slowly.

    For the past month, I've been attached to a secondary school. And it was then I begin to realise what YOG is doing to our youths. Many of them, I wish you could be there to see it for yourself.

    I wish you could be there to see how sports seem to have a greater relevance to the students now. Each school is twinned with a country for a few years already, and they have been having exchanges. My school, for example, hosted students from their twin country last year, and had a friendly match. Without this exchange, I doubt many of them will even know this country existed, and thought that the country is just “African”.

    I wish you could be there to see the pride the students have, when it is made known that 2 of the students are selected to be torch bearers of the Olympic flame. I do not know the torch bearers, nor have I met them. But when this news was announced to my students, I can't describe the amount of pride they felt that their peers are holding such a responsibility, even though many of them don't know the torch bearers personally.

    I wish you could be there when the students were told that there are free tickets to the YOG games. Even though it is held on weekends, even though it wouldn't be an excuse to miss school, I wish you could be there to see the excitement they have and how much they want to go for the event when given the opportunity to watch this events. This was even before they were told that they will receive a free commemorative EZ-link card to cover the transport cost for the day. How I wish there could be more tickets for them, as a total of around 100 tickets is given over 4-5 events for a school of 1400.

    Now you might think that YOG may have hyped up the sports, but what about the other students who are not interested or involved in sports? What about them, other than the cultural exchanges?

    I wish you could be there to see my students who are part of the Military Band. They have been selected to perform for the YOG opening ceremony. They pride the hold, the commitment they give to the long hours of practices and commute to the floating platform, the weekends burnt – you have to see it for yourself to know what I mean.

    I wish you could be there to see some of the FB exchanges, of my ex-students and kids, who are involved in the performances for the opening ceremony or YOG related events. Some of the things they love, such as cosplay, break-dancing, have been demonised and marginalised by their parents and other adults. Finally, they have a platform to show them that there is nothing wrong with it, and hopefully, let them have a better understanding of what their passion is about.

    I wish I could tell you more, and I'm sure you've heard of such non-sports exposure related to the YOG.

    But if it aren't clear to you, YOG is a platform and a catalyst for many aspects of development for our youths. It gives them not just a platform to display, but a platform to learn, to show, to benchmark, and a platform to be proud of. And as I've shown, it's not just for the sports people or the sports super-stars.

    I may be exaggerating, but this can very well be a monumental event for many of our youths in Singapore, regardless if they are involved directly, indirectly, or not at all. It could very well be the common memory of their generation.

    I guess sometimes, we adults use the acronym in YOG so much that we forgot what it stands for. YOG starts with the word YOUTH. How come we've forgotten that it is all about the YOUTH. If we adults don't feel it, or feel the relevance of it, why should it be a surprise, since that it is mainly for our youths? And I'm not even talking about the cliché benefits, such as the Olympic values or those who are competing for from our youth volunteers interacting with different cultures around the world etc.

    And since it is for our youths, is it still asking for too much, to give way for the 2 weeks, in exchange of a catalyst, a platform, and a lifetime memory for our future generation?

    I know, cause my year-end holidays has been cut short by 2 weeks, and my school term has been pushed back by 1 month to host the YOG. As much as I grumble sometimes, I'm heartened by what I'm exchanging these for.

  7. “And since it is for our youths, is it still asking for too much, to give way for the 2 weeks, in exchange of a catalyst, a platform, and a lifetime memory for our future generation?”

    HAHAH talk cock lah!

    If i am a student in primary school, and for 2 weeks you bring me jalan jalan, go see people play basketball, somemore got free food, who not happy?

    Wait till i see their faces when its back to the some old shite routine of lessons, recess, test and exams!

  8. Unfortunately I have to agree somewhat with you. Went to the final rehearsal on 7th Aug. My friend and I were flabbergasted with the muffled audio quality when it started. When the hosts walked out with their cue cards, we were somewhat all right though a little taken back because it was the final rehearsal but nothing prepared us until the female host started reading from her card from the start. We were mortified. She was clearly not as “prepared” compared to her three male co-hosts. While the video visuals were top notch, my friend and I almost walked out after seeing half-inspired performers, Chapter 6: Monster aka Ben10 inspired part came and finally Chapter 8: Don't Play With Fire aka dragon head & tail came. Everything was disjointed and audience were stumped. Some walked out actually because they couldn't get the ideology behind it, it's too abstract and really disconnecting. Makes one really concerned with the actual show.

  9. When is the games on weekends? The games are everyday, for 12 days from 14 – 26 August 2010. You should learn to comprehend first imo. =]

  10. On the same note, please do realize that all other olympic games have the Host Country put in place a -DEDICATED- “Olympic Lane”. Meaning, No one BUT olympic vehicles are allowed to travel in that lane.

    Imagine if Singapore did that? I think we managed to find a nice middle point with the “give way” lane.

  11. Oh well, they still have 6 days to go. Maybe can improve the whole system. Teo Chee Hean was there remarking with his hands gesturing. The camera zoomed in on him. Otherwise …..

  12. sorry. pressed the wrong button. As in the tickets given to the school is in the weekend lah. Read carefully
    “Even though it is held on weekends, even though it wouldn't be an excuse to miss school,”

    where got miss lesson to go jalan jalan?

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