We’re all for promoting cultural exchange among 14- to 18-year-olds and
spreading the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,
but is this inaugural Youth Olympic Games really necessary? A
15-year-old Tara Lipinski took figure-skating gold at Nagano, Kerri
Strug landed her gold-clinching vault at 18, and Michael Phelps
collected eight medals before his 20th birthday (the youngest gold
medalist ever: 13-year-old American diver Marjorie Gestring in 1936).
Of course, 12 days filled with 3,600 competitors, 370,000 spectators,
and sponsors ranging from Samsung to McDonald’s means that while
athletes compete for gold, silver, and bronze, Games host Singapore is
a lock to bring home the green. — CD
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