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Hong Kong delegation to Youth Olympic Games returns with glory

The 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing came to a close on August 28. Today, I hosted a reception at Government House to welcome the Hong Kong delegation back home and to applaud them for their commendable performance in the sporting event.

The YOG is the top multi-sport event for young people organised by the International Olympic Committee. Every four years it brings together young athletes aged between 15 and 18 from around the world to compete at the highest level. This year, 18 athletes represented Hong Kong in eight sports, namely, badminton, equestrian, fencing, golf, windsurfing, table tennis, triathlon and swimming competitions.

Our athletes performed brilliantly at this year's YOG. They won a total of seven medals including two gold, four silver and one bronze, a marked improvement over four years ago. Indeed, the two gold medals, one won by Albert Chien and Ryan Choi in Fencing Mixed Continental Team and the other by Ng Tsz-yau and her Malaysian partner in the Badminton Mixed Doubles, are the first YOG golds won by Hong Kong athletes.

I firmly believe that Hong Kong is full of talented young people. After long periods of strenuous, rigorous training, these young athletes have stood out among other players in the international sports arena. Additionally, apart from their own efforts and personal sacrifices, the support of their families, the dedicated team of coaches and people who work with them, the sports associations and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) have also been instrumental in their success.

The SAR Government has always been active in supporting the development of sports in Hong Kong. In recent years we have allocated additional resources to sports associations so that they can help athletes prepare for major competitions through high-level training. Regarding this year's YOG, the Home Affairs Bureau allocated $1.45 million to support local athletes in preparation for the event, and reserved about $1.2 million for their participation in the games. Separately, the Government has also provided $1.8 billion for the redevelopment of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), which will help raise the overall levels of training and support for elite athletes.

The SAR Government will continue to work with all stakeholders including the HKSI, the SF&OC, sports associations, coaches and athletes, to offer our young athletes greater support.

Every medal justifies the efforts of its winner. Our athletes' can-do spirit and determination deserve our respect and we should emulate them as much as we can. On behalf of the SAR Government, I pay tribute to our athletes and wish them every success in future events, bringing further glory to Hong Kong.

Photo   Photo

September 3, 2014