The big news tonight is that Singapore will be hosting the first Youth Olympics in 2010! All rejoice! The government and grassroots efforts have succeeded! And let's not forget the support of the taxi drivers who pasted the decals on their windows!
Okay, okay, seriously speaking, this is good news for Singapore for a number of reasons. Firstly, it reinforces Singapore's growing reputation as a place to hold international meetings, following the IMF/World Bank meeting (* see note 1 below). Secondly, it emphasises the government's drive to develop a thriving sports culture here, especially with the recent high-profile tender for the Sports Hub. (* see note 2 below) Thirdly, it more-or-less assures of a stable -- if not booming -- economy up to 2010, after the casinos start operations next year.
Which leaves me with just one question:
Where is there space around NUS to build an Olympic Village???
- All of these international meetings came after the government announced its decision to build a casino here. Conspiracy theorists say that the government had been "held ransom" by the MICE power brokers: build a casino or forget about holding international events. I doubt that's true.
- Urban legend says that when former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew watched a soccer match, he asked, "What's so great about watching 22 men chase a ball?" Again, I doubt that anecdote is true.