Singapore (SIN), May 7, 2010 – 1996 Olympic gold-medalist Kerri Strug was one of the many celebrities on hand for the “99 days to go” celebrations held today in Singapore for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Thousands turned out to take part in celebratory events ranging from athletic competitions and sports carnivals to fireworks displays as the nation prepares to make history by becoming the first-ever host of the Games for young Olympians from August 14-26.

Strug traveled to Singapore as a guest of Visa to participate in the celebrations, as well as to meet and interact with aspiring Singapore athletes.

The activities included: the “99-Day Celebration” at *Scape, which was attended by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore Organising Committee (SYOGOC) Chairman Ng Ser Miang and International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission Chairman Sergey Bubka; unveiling of the look of the Games for venues and volunteer/staff uniforms; cultural and musical performances; sports activities; and a keynote speech from Prime Minister Lee.

To mark the 99-day milestone, the International Olympic Committee launched a photography competition on Flickr to capture the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games and released "99 second" video interviews with Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors Michael Phelps and Yelena Isinbayeva. The Games’ 30 Young Ambassadors, nominated by a pilot group of National Olympic Committees, also celebrated "99 days to go" in their regions and communities.

The Youth Olympic Games in Singapore will bring together 3,600 athletes (between the ages of 14 and 18) from all 205 National Olympic Committees to compete in the 26 sports in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. A culture and education program is planned for the Youth Olympic Games, with the goal of increasing participants’ awareness of the Olympic values and topics such as healthy lifestyles and the fight against doping.

For more information on the Youth Olympic Games, visit

U.S. Olympic Committee Announces U.S. participation in 2010 Youth Olympic Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 7, 2010 – The U.S. Olympic Committee will send a team of nearly 80 athletes to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, which begins in 99 days with the Opening Ceremony on August 14. For gymnastics, the USA will send one athlete in three events: men’s gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and men’s trampoline. While the USOC released the names of the Youth Olympic Games participants who have already been chosen, the gymnastics athletes will be determined during the next few months.

The Youth Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that will take place every four years consistent with the current format of the Olympic Games. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will run from Aug. 14-26, 2010, with an expected 3,600 athletes from 205 countries participating. The sport program will encompass all 26 sports that will be featured at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) may send up to 70 athletes in individual sports, should they qualify, as well as one girls team and one boys team. Basketball will be competed as 3-on-3 at the Youth Olympic Games, and for team quotas, is considered an individual sport.

In all, the U.S. Team will consist of athletes (14-18 years of age) in 17 sports: aquatics (swimming and diving), archery, badminton, basketball, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics (men’s, rhythmic and men’s trampoline), judo, modern pentathlon, sailing, table tennis, taekwondo, track & field, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aims to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. It will create a lasting sport, culture and education legacy for youth from around the world, as well as enhance and elevate the sporting culture locally and regionally.