The Olympic flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympic village ahead of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Aug, 12, 2014. The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic games will be held from August 16 to 28. (Xinhua/Shen Peng)
NANJING, China, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- With the turn of a symbolic golden key and a firework of gold confetti, the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) officially opened here on Tuesday.
Ten minutes before the scheduled 08:30 opening time the audience dressed in the official NYCOG uniforms, media and officials were buzzing with excitement for the ceremony to start.
Miao Ruilin, the mayor of Nanjing, addressed the audience with a welcome speech, saying,"the official opening of YOV indicates that Nanjing Youth Olympics have now opened its arms to welcome all NOC 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 program 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 executive director Gilbert Felli addressed the ceremony on behalf of the IOC 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 setting off festive confetti and the start of a dance performance. Pre-school girls clad in bright pink dresses with huge bows in their hair danced with great deliberation while official IOC guests waved plush 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 on 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 working after the arrival of all the athletes.