In August 2010 Singapore hosted the very first Youth Olympic Games, which brought together 3,600 teenage athletes and 204 National Olympic Committees for several weeks of sporting events. Seven Calliope members acted as Team Leaders and, together with the Chief Interpreter, ensured the smooth delivery of quality interpretation services in 11 different languages. They played a critical role by liaising with Venue Officers and Press Officers, handling logistics, last-minute requirements, cancellations, etc. A key challenge was recruiting a team of interpreters considering that few local professionals had the necessary language skills. To meet the challenge Calliope extended its research to tap into the talent pool across Asia-Pacific and Europe.
The requirements for the Youth Olympics were as diverse as the nationalities present at the event. The organisers needed interpretation services for administrative meetings, informal get-togethers (“Chats with the Champions”) and press conferences. Our team members provided simultaneous, consecutive and whispered interpretation, depending on the set-up and needs of each situation. The Calliope team kept a close watch on event results in order to be ready as needs arose, such as interpreting at post-event press conferences in unexpected languages to support a surprise finalist. We were able to respond rapidly to the incoming results and, thanks to good planning and a flexible team, covered all requirements.
With only one month to prepare, Calliope pulled together a qualified team and delivered seamless interpretation services for almost six weeks, covering everything from pre-event preparation meetings to the Youth Olympics event.
“Singapore Youth Olympic Games were the first of its kind and therefore the interpretation needs were unique as well as difficult to predict. Yet Danielle as Chief interpreter did a remarkable job, from recruiting a younger team of professionals more suitable for the youth whilst at the same time with the experience and language combinations needed, to ensuring the project management of all requests were dealt with efficiently and promptly.
Danielle Grée understood the Organizing Committee’s needs perfectly and provided a custom-made solution focusing on quality, cost-efficiency and all within extremely strict time-frames. We were very fortunate to count with such a reliable and professional partner.”
Emma Mas-Jones, Language Manager, Singapore Youth Olympics