The 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games will help the country shift its sports focus from gold medals to mass fitness, the vice-mayor of the city said.
The Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which kicked off in Singapore two years ago, allows athletes aged 14 to 18 to share in the Olympic experience and cultural exchanges while competing on an international stage.
Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province and host of the 2nd edition of the 12-day event, is keen to provide a gala event with a series of cultural and educational activities.
The 28-event Nanjing YOG will be held from Aug 16-28 in 2014 and will feature the slogan "Share the Games, Share our Dreams".
The organizers believe the event will be a "catalyst" for adjusting the country's medal-first sporting ambitions.
"It's time for our sports administrative departments to consider a change of our sports focus - from medals to national well-being," Xu Jinhui, vice-mayor of Nanjing, said after the launch of the Nanjing International Sports Sculpture Competition on Monday.
The sculpture contest was held to celebrate the 900-day countdown to the YOG and some of the entries will be on display at the YOG village and venues during the event.
"There was only one theme in China and that was winning more and more medals on the elite stage ... now we should pay more attention to mass fitness and campus sports. The YOG will provide a push to this," Xu said.
To stress the value of cultural exchange and education, the YOG won't have a medal table.
According to Xu, the Nanjing organizing committee will stage cultural and educational activities including a youth culture festival, an Olympic carnival, theme exhibitions and junior-senior athlete interactions before and during the Games.
"We hope all the participants will eventually realize the importance of the educational function of sports through our efforts at the Games," Xu said.