Nanjing (China): With the turn of a symbolic golden key and a shower of golden confetti, the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) officially opened here Tuesday.
Ten minutes before the scheduled 8:30 a.m (local time) opening time the audience dressed in the official NYCOG uniforms, media and officials were buzzing with excitement waiting for the ceremony to start, reports Xinhua.
Miao Ruilin, the mayor of Nanjing, welcomed the audience with a speech, saying,"the official opening of YOV indicates that Nanjing Youth Olympics have now opened its arms to welcome all teams."
Yang Shu`an, the NYOGOC executive president and the Chinese Olympic Committee vice president, welcomed the young athletes to the village and expressed his belief that they would enjoy the competition, facilities and the elaborate cultural and education programme prepared by the NYOGOC.
"The Youth Olympic Games aim to encourage the young people to actively participate in the Olympic Games, improve their overall abilities, enhance their sense of social responsibility, and foster a healthy lifestyle," he said.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive director Gilbert Felli addressed the ceremony on behalf of the president, Thomas Bach, who wished a comfortable and secure stay for all the young athletes and officials.
Yang Weize, NYOGOC executive president and secretary of the Nanjing Municipal Party Committee declared the YOV open, which was the signal for the confetti shower and the start of a dance performance.
Pre-school girls clad in bright pink dresses with huge bows in their hair danced gracefully while official IOC guests waved Games mascots in sync with the music.
As of Tuesday morning there were more than 400 residents at the village.
"It`s going smooth and everyone feels very happy here," said YOG spokeswoman Ding Qing.
The last delegations are scheduled to arrive Aug 15. All of the athletes are expected to attend the opening ceremony, but are allowed to leave early, Ding said.
Every facility at the village is already operational except the World Culture and IOC booths, which will start functioning after the arrival of all the athletes.