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Mia leads Team SA at spectacular YOG opening
- Updated: August 16, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
in Nanjing, China
China take a bow! … If the rest of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in any way match up to Saturday night’s opening ceremony we’re in for a right royal time.
The 90-minute spectacular ceremony had it all, from acrobatics to the zipzap-factor.
The packed national stadium was enthralled from start to finish as wave after wave of entertainment saw the time flying by in what seemed like seconds.
And Team South Africa were in the thick of the action from early on. Gauteng gymnast Muhammad Khaalid Mia proudly carried the national flag across the stadium surface behind only Greece, as the founding nation of the Modern Olympics, and Afghanistan.
President of China Xi Jinping and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach thoughtfully kept the speeches simple.
‘Young athletes, these are your games, these are your moments,’ Bach told the more than 3 500 gathered athletes.’
The former Olympic gold medallist fencer also showed that he has kept in touch with the times as he asked the crowd: ‘Let’s set a world record for “selfies”. Your selfies will send a strong message around the world that Olympic sport reaches beyond competition. It is also about sharing, learning and making friends across our globe.
‘Deliver your personal best and enjoy the great friendliness, world-class hospitality and customary Chinese efficiency,’ he said.
Triathlete Jayme-Sue Vermaas is the first South African in medal action on Sunday when she goes off in the girls’ triathlon event. Other codes in action are gymnastics, hockey (five-a-side) and swimming.