Tag Archive | Youth Olympic Games

YOG: slowly catching fire

Just two days to the opening of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Saturday, it makes me happy, no delighted, to be able to report that people around me are beginning to warm to the event.

Take what happened today.

On my way to lunch, I actually saw a car, the same make as mine, with a YOG decal on its back wind screen! Woo-hoo! At least I’ve got company.

YOG taxi

This was followed by the sighting of a YOG taxi when I was heading for my yoga class at Kampong Glam Community Club. I naturally took a picture.

Then, be4 the class started, the instructor handed us each a fan (pix below), that carried a combination of the YOG logo and that of the sponsor, Coca Cola.

fanning the flames

That was not all. After class, Iris, a stalwart of the class, having been its pioneer student, told us that she would be going to the YOG closing ceremony. She seemed delighted to have secured the tickets! But she was disappointed in not being able to get tickets to any of the YOG football games. Or at least her niece was, whom she described as a great fan of YOG.

“Aiyah,” I told her, half in jest, “go and ask the CC office downstairs whether can give you some tickets lah!”

“How can?” Iris shot back at me, somewhat crossly. “You buy the tickets online!”

Clearly, I was the ignoramus.

To round up these small bursts of enthusiasm, a neighbour I shared the lift with when I got home asked where I got the YOG fan from.

After I told him, he volunteered that he had thought the torch rally was coming to our neck of the wood today but no, he was mistaken.

The father of two teenagers said: “My kids told me that it’s tomorrow!”

He said the torch would be going to the schools, Nanyang where his daughter is and ACS where his son is.

“Goodness, i hope it won’t affect traffic around here,”  said me, ever the wet blanket.

“Sure would,” he replied, beaming, “but I don’t mind!”

Now that’s what i call enthusiasm!

YOG doesn’t light my fire

Sad to say, despite trying hard, I’m still finding it really difficult to get excited about the Youth Olympic Games, which will open in less than two weeks.

Perhaps it’s because no one I know is even remotely connected with it. No one in my immediate circle or even the external upon external circles. Certainly, we don’t have tete a tetes about the games!

Unlike YOG, I got to hear plenty about the Formula 1 races — from younger family members who grabbed the tickets as soon as they were available. Also, from a cousin who came all the way from London, first year, second year and will do so again next month to attend the event.

doing my bit for YOG

Hence when one of my chair yoga instructors at the Kampong Glam Community Club offered me a YOG car decal a few weeks ago, I accepted it, as i would like to promote awareness in others, even if the once in a life-time event doesn’t light my fire.

And I gamely stuck the decal on the rear screen of my car, hoping it won’t block my rear view vision.

But I noticed that none of the other students accepted the teacher’s clutch of decals. Granted, none of them drive to the yoga lessons but I don’t think I’m the only one in that class who drives or owns a car.

More tellingly is that no car except mine carries a YOG car decal in the condo where I live. And there are 77 units, with most units owning at least one car, while several have two and one neighbour having three cars.

Still, mine is just anecdotal evidence, not necessarily representative of what the nation feels, or even what people of my age group and gender feel!

For all I know people are excited about YOG but don’t want to show off their excitement. Perhaps cool youth don’t do uncool stuff like getting excited, even if they are!

Don’t suspend disbelief so easily

I am always sceptical whenever something too good to be true comes my way. And it’s almost impossible to convince me to part with my money, if that parting is in exchange for more money or better looks.

That’s why I never respond when I get invites to share in the secret on how to make millions without really trying. If someone truly has such a formula, he or she wouldn’t want to part with it, let alone part with it for a few thousand bucks, with up to 50% discount for early birds!

Ditto when cosmetic companies throw out promises of making wrinkles disappear, smoothening skin and uplifting sags at the wrong places.

Sure, I still spend a small fortune (in my context, of cos) on Estee Lauder, Clinique and Lancome products — mainly on perfumes because I like the smell, which is quite different from buying the promise to be made to smell nicer. This means I buy what is; not what is promised.

All this is a preamble for me to lament about seemingly intelligent people who somehow suspend their disbelief over rather critical issues.

Two recent sad examples spring to mind.

First is that terrible boo-boo by Singpost to kick start its “Express Yourself” campaign as a lead-up to publicity for the first Youth Olympic Games in August with Singapore as host and Singpost as a sponsor.

Whoever advised Singpost and whoever at Singpost accepted the advice that to “Express Yourself” you must damage public property are, to my mind, senior executives who lost both their brains and judgement somewhere on the PIE or CTE.

And not only did they show poor judgement but they also revealed that they are bankrupt of ideas.

The other example is sadder still. He lost his life. Such a tragic waste at 44! At the prime of his life and hugely successful! No mean feat to build a $1 billion retail property portfolio in Singapore’s mean Orchard Road belt. So he must have had brain and razor sharp judgement.

So, he was a bit portly where a nifty man about town — dealing with the beautiful corridors where Singapore’s beautiful people traipse — should not be portly. So he went for liposuction. Which was fine.

But what has now turned out to be a terrible lapse of judgement was that he sought to reduce the perceived fat at a clinic, which though licensed, isn’t among those that immediately come to mind when talk turns to doctors who make Singapore’s beautiful people eternally beautiful — at least judging by how they look in pictures in the Tatler or the Peak.

It’s such a shame. So astute in business but too trusting when it came to his own life?

I guess we will never know why he chose the clinic where he died and not any of the top clinics in town where he might have found more competent treatment.

The moral is: never suspend our disbelief, especially when it comes to life or money.

think me dumb?

That’s why I shall not be responding to yet another “scam” email (left) that came to my Yahoo mailbox — the 32nd since I started collecting in July 09!

Hey, hey, US of A, give S’pore face, OK?

President Barack Obama will meet our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Thursday Oct 29 at the White House, according to Mr Obama’s deputy spokesman Bill Burton.

I hope Mr Obama will give Singapore a nice gift when he meets MM Lee — as after all who best believes and supports the US than Singapore? And I don’t mean just thru our sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings (remember Chung King? ) and Government Investment Corporation of Singapore.

I also mean how unequivocally, openly and repeatedly MM Lee affirms that the US will continue to be great for another 50 years, whatever its critics and sceptics may claim. He did so as recently as a few days ago in the Charlie Rose TV show on the PBS network in the US.

So OK, what would the best gift be for Singapore at this moment? Not money. Not titles. Not accolades. Just plain old support for our upcoming Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Is it within the mandate of President Obama to reverse his country’s decision not to send its swimmers, shooters and cyclists to our YOG for the rather insulting reason that it’s “not a high-level event”?

I won’t know but where there’s a will, there’s a way for US politicians.

In any case, our YOG ain’t a two-bit event but “is about serious top-level sports competition”, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Teo Ser Luck.

So come on Mr Obama, when a highly respected octogenarian comes calling at the White House, do give him and the pro-US country he’s led for longer than you have lived some face. You won’t regret it.

But if you let this friend go away with just polite sweet nothings, then you’ll show the world that old buddies, in need and in deed, don’t matter and with the US as a friend, one really doesn’t need any enemies!