«Ni hao Nanjing», goodbye Nanjing! With these words, CIO President Thomas Bach has declared the closure of the second summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games. This edition will be remembered for its magnificence and for an organization that can be compared with the Games of the older athletes. The countdown has started, the flags of the 203 nations attending parading. The Italian tricolore being borne by Simone Sabbioni, swimmer from Rimini, 100 m backstroke gold medal. In the official gallery, politicians and authorities are present, coming from every part of the world, starting from the home host, the Governor of the Li Xueyong province. "It has been the Olympics of innovation" the CIO head added, before inviting more than 60,000 people attending on the bleachers to have a "selfie" and post it on #Nanjing2014. The #YOGselfie campaign has involved 400 millions of people in the 24 hours after the opening ceremony. Only in China, 56 million people sent a post using this hashtag, 147 million surfed in #nanjing2014. It could not be any different, given the 3,808 teenagers living in the 26 town facilities and an Olympic Village exploding for them in a feast of sounds and colours every night. The final ceremony at the Olympic Sport centre stadium, organized by artistic director Weiya Chen as a huge "concert", represented the last act of the "dream sharing", such as recited by the YOG slogan: "Share our games, share our dreams." The languages used in these 12 competition days – a lot of them having an absolute relevance, due to the results obtained – have been necessarily those of the young people ("Let's get together" and "Pump it up", for example). Simple and straightforward communication, with a social networking touch, which has had an important role also in the activities of the Culture and Education program (the CEP promoted by the Young Ambassadors) based on five themes: olympism, civic education, professional education, expressivity and well-being, healthy life-styles. "We got to know athletes we are going to see in Tokyo in 2020, someone already in Rio de Janeiro. All of us, from every corner of the world, want to thank Jiangsu and Nanjing for this unforgettable experience," concluded Bach, before the Olympic flag was hauled down for its delivery to a representative of Buenos Aires. In 2018, the best world sportive youth will move to the Argentinian capital (passing by the Winter Games of Lillehammer 2016) and Lionel Messi is the one who has given his welcome with a video message. Then the torch has turned off, leaving the usual veil of melancholia. The lighthouse of innovation evoked by the Olympic International Committee President is still well on. After the start in Singapore of the 3 on 3 basketball, successfully proposed again also in Nanjing, Lausanne has won the bet on 5 on 5 hockey and the 8x100 relay in athletics, without mentioning golf and rugby sevens, disciplines that have showed to be ready for their debut in Brazil. The so-called Sport Laboratory has also had a good reception, being dedicated to the four emerging sports, particularly followed in China: wunshu kungfu, sport climbing, roller skating and skateboard. Five Italian athletes have competed in them in the Sport LAB project: Federica Gasperini, Valentina Ugolini, Michele Giordano, Leonardo Gontero and Francesca Lollobrigita, who was 23th on the 3,000 ice skating race in Sochi. Last night the big Olympic Games of the young has thus ended. A sport generation has greeted more than 30,000 volunteers who had welcomed them with enthusiasm. Many NANJINGLELE fluctuating were on the field, small balloons of the funny mascot insipred by Yuhua (literally: 'rain of the stone flower'), a typical stone polished by the waters of the Yangtze River. On the big screens, in the meantime, the best images of the competitions were running, the smiles, the medals. Hugs, a lot of hugs! Seven giant platforms, one per letter, composed the word NANJING, which in mandarin means 'capital of the South'. Traditional songs, pop music, typical dances from every continent, acrobats and thousands of people participating have made the party. Even if this edition is now behind our shoulders, as declaimed in the official anthem of the Youth Olympic Games 2014, when young people are involved, "Dreams never end"!
Sabbioni as flag bearer in the closure ceremony of the Dreams Games, goodbye until Buenos Aires 2018