Athletes risk fines for early return from YOG
Educational and cultural events are as important as the sporting events at the YOG in Singapore, and athletes are expected to participate in all planned events. Photo (c) flickr user Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and licensed under a Creative Commons 2.0 licence.
16.08.2010By Stine Alvad
If an athlete or a manager participating at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games fails to show up at an event or decides to leave Singapore when his or her competition is over, the bill for this person’s stay at the Youth Olympic Village will be sent to the relevant NOC.
"all members of an NOC team delegation must stay overnight within the Youth Olympic Village for the duration of the Games, regardless of their competition schedules, and shall participate in both sports competitions and in the culture and education programmes" a communiqué to all participating NOCs reads according to the Times of India Online. The letter is signed by Pere Miro, IOC’s Director of NOC relations and Gilbert Felli, Executive Director of the Olympic Games.
The price for not staying or participating in all sporting as well as cultural and educational events has been calculated to $1.190, corresponding the IOC's costs for accommodation and meal costs the full period that the Athletes’ Village is open (August 10-28).
"The IOC are paying for all travel and accommodation for the NOCs. This is to encourage the young athletes to stay for the duration, to gain a full youth Olympic experience and take part in the culture and education activities on offer," IOC media relations manager Sandrine Tonge explains to the Times of India Online.
Henrik Brandt, Director of the Danish Institute of Sports Studies, thinks there is another reason as well. According to Brandt, it is important for the IOC’s prestige to show that everybody backs the event. Keeping the athletes at the YOG adds to the picture of young athletes supporting it.
“With the huge machinery that the IOC has built and all the money spent, it will look really bad if there is no one present, Brandt says to Danish newspaper Politiken.