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NUS torchbearers blaze a trail for Youth Olympic Flame

13 August 2010

TORCH RELAY: Third- year Arts and Social Sciences student Ms Melanie Francisca carrying the Youth Olympic Torch

CHEERING ON: Supporters cheering the participants of the torch relay

Amidst cheers from classmates, staff and faculty members, 15 representatives from NUS participated in the Youth Olympic Torch Relay which came through its scenic Kent Ridge campus on 12 August 2010. The areas covered in the Southwest district during the fifth day of the relay were Jurong, Boon Lay, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, West Coast, Clementi, Dover and Buona Vista. The Youth Olympic Flame would be lit at the Singapore 2010 Opening Ceremony at The Float@Marina Bay on 14 August 2010, marking the opening of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Dr Kua Harn Wei of the Department of Building of the School of Design and Environment and an NUS alumnus said that being a YOG torchbearer was an honour and once-a-lifetime experience. “Carrying the torch in NUS adds even more meaning to the whole experience, especially since it was in NUS - 18 years ago - that I started competitive triathlon. The flame is a reminder of how far I have come as an athlete, which would never have been possible if not for the support from my friends, colleagues and teachers at NUS,” said Dr Kua who was ranked as the world’s number two triathlete by the International Ultratriathlon Association in 2008. He also holds several Asian triathlon records for various ultra distances. For the YOG, Dr Kua is one of the two national team coaches for modern pentathlon (fencing, swimming, shooting, running and horse-riding).

As for fourth-year Psychology major Ms Muriel Opiano Amable, she said that she felt privileged to be given the chance to be part of the first Youth Olympic flame's journey. At the upcoming games, she would be a Station Host at Hort Park as part of the Culture & Education Programme as well as a venue emcee. “(I look forward to) meeting different people from different parts of the world and ultimately, everyone having an awesome time, be it volunteers, athletes, coaches, judges and even those inside mascot costumes!” said Muriel.

Some 2,400 individuals were selected as torchbearers for a torch relay spanning six days across Singapore. They ran through all five community districts in Singapore from 7-13 August 2010.