AFTER COMPETING IN FENCING AT THE INAUGURAL YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES (YOG) IN SINGAPORE IN 2010, RANIA RAHARDJA WAS SINGAPORE’S YOUNG CHANGE-MAKER (YCM) AT THE YOG BUENOS AIRES 2018. SHE IS NOW AIMING TO INSPIRE SINGAPOREANS WITH A DISABILITY TO FENCE AS PART OF THE IOC’S YCM+ PROGRAMME.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN THE FIRST-EVER YOG?
“I qualified for the YOG only two years after taking up the sport and after just one year of competitive fencing, so 2010 was a fantastic but sometimes overwhelming experience. It was only after the Games that I truly understood what being part of the YOG meant. It gave me the confidence and motivation to continue fencing. Being chosen as one of the six YOG flagbearers for the Opening Ceremony is a moment I won’t forget.. It was nerve-racking but luckily it went smoothly and I still keep in touch with the other flagbearers.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RETURN TO THE OLYMPIC FAMILY AS A YCM IN BUENOS AIRES.
“It was a different experience because there was no pressure of competing and I could fully immerse myself in the activities on offer. I attended the Olympism in Action Forum, where I learned about legacy, sustainability and human rights, and gained a greater understanding of the planning required to stage the Games. I was inspired meeting the other YCMs from all over the world with our unique backgrounds and diverse experiences. We had a lot of fun exploring the Youth Olympic Village and the city.”