I ran across a news article other day that was discussing the upcoming Youth Winter Olympic Games. You haven’t heard of them either? That’s because they haven’t started yet. The set-up is the same as the current Olympics: every 4 years, and staggered between summer and winter games. The idea has been around for a few years, but they approved it in 2007.
The first summer games will be in 2010, in Singapore. 170 countries expected to participate (with at least four athletes each). They will contest all 26 sports that are held in the current Olympics, but they will limit the number of disciplines and events in each sport. For example, water polo and synchronized swimming will be left out of aquatics. The first winter games will be held in 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria. They are undecided on which sports should be included, but the total will be seven.
What surprised me most is that there will be no national flags or anthems. During medal ceremonies, they will present only the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem in order to de-emphasize international competition. That sounds great, but isn’t half the fun of the Olympics rooting for your team?