Tue, August 24, 2010
Sports > Popular News > Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

Young Olympians learn to solve problems for competing abroad

2010-08-24 09:01:45 GMT2010-08-24 17:01:45 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SINGAPORE, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Youth Olympic Games athletes learned how to prepare for their competition abroad when they took part in the "Race to the Start Line" activity at the Youth Olympic Village on Monday.

Athletes from different countries and regions formed teams to challenge themselves through five stations - acclimatization, diet, hydration, infection and travel.

They were given imaginary money to solve potential problems in every station, and discussed which option was the most suitable for them in view of a competition.

"The main purpose of this game is to let them understand how to make a decision with limited resources," workshop facilitator Shirley Soon said. "They learn that a decision is never right or wrong. It's more making them aware that there are risks behind every choice."

Zabulon Ndikumana from Burundi, who competed in the boys 2,000m, said he learned to drink every hour during a flight because high cabin pressure increases the rate of fluid loss from the body and that water could help to reduce jetlag.

Volleyball player Boris Martinovic from Serbia said that it is extremely important to pay attention to the food you eat when travelling, because unfamiliar foods may trigger allergies and interfere with a performance.

Athletes were also made aware that vaccinations could cause reactions including fever and rash.

With particular reference to some of the problems that athletes have faced in Singapore, they were taught that competing in a different climate without acclimatization may have adverse effects on athletic performance. Time spent in transit could also disrupt eating times and cause increased fluid loss.

"I was particularly impressed by the fact that they (young athletes) are willing to share their experiences," Soon said. "They are from different countries and they compete in different sports but when they come to the workshop they all take a decision together. And that's exactly what the Youth Olympic Games are all about."

Fifty culture and education programs feature the first Youth Olympic Games which attracted 3,600 athletes between 14 to 18 from 204 countries and regions for the 13-day sport gala.

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