Winners, champions, friendship, gold

SINGAPORE -- The Youth Olympic Games cauldron was lit late Saturday night, roaring into a tornado of whirling fire. As competition gets underway, here is what they were saying in the days leading up to the opening ceremony. All quotes courtesy of the internal Games news service:

"You will learn the difference between winning and being a champion. To win, you merely have to cross the finish line first. To be a champion, you have to inspire admiration for your character, as well as for your physical talent."
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at the opening ceremony.

"I used to go into the forest, make a bow and arrow, pick a tree as a target and then try to hit it."
Maciel Jaworski of Poland on his introduction to archery

"We just lay on the ground and then when it was over we went on our knees and prayed."
Haitian football team captain Daniel Gedeon on the January earthquake

"It will help the weaker fencers improve the quality of the fencing and not be annihilated."
South African coach Randall Francisco Daniels on the benefit of attending the Games

"He did good things for the world and I want to be the best in what I do, just like he was."
Fencer Amalia Tataran of Romania on pop star Michael Jackson
"After each meal we have to run the boys extra hard because when they enter that dining hall we have no control over them and they just go for it. I just hope they don't go home fat."
Vanuatu team doctor Andy Ilo on his nation's soccer players

"Just to get a decent job."
Zimbabwe junior mountain bike champion Nyasha Lungu on his goals beyond the Youth Games
"Singapore is different. Especially the weather, it's a lot more humid, so it's not very good for my hair."
Youth Olympic Games theme song singer Jody Williams on her first trip outside South Africa

"When I was about 10, I went down to my local leisure centre who were having an open day. It was around the time that 'The Lord of the Rings' movie was out. I thought about being Legolas and it looked fun so I gave it a try."
British archer Mark Nesbitt
"I didn't know that people come in so many different sizes."
Handball athlete Jun Ting Alvin Low of Singapore on the arrival of athletes from around the world for the Games

"When we first started playing together, I thought this was really boring. No one knew the rules, no one understood the game, we all just ran around and shoved each other."
Cook Islands handball captain Gerald Piho on the first time his team played the sport - two months ago

"Because Iran is a conservative society, we have to train men and women taekwondokas in separate rooms as girls cannot mix and train with male players. If this changes, I am sure we can get much better results in female taekwondo competitions."
Iranian coach Fariborz Askari

"Leave out the friendship. Just give us the gold."
Egyptian weightlifting coach Maher Hassan