By Nick Butler in Nanjing

Omega President Stephen Urquhart was joined by IOC member Gerhard Heiberg at the unveiling of the countdown clock for Nanjing 2014August 15 - A day of festivities culminating in the unveiling of a special countdown clock in the city centre formed the centrepiece of celebrations marking the one-year-to-go anniversary to the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games here today.

The event was organised by Nanjing 2014, along with the Games official timers Omega, and the clock was unveiled in Xinnjiekou Square on the exact moment that the countdown changed from 366 to 365.

A variety of other events - encompassing drummers, aerialists and dancers - were held alongside the clock's unveiling, while other anniversary initiatives have included the introduction of a "London style" black taxi service.

The celebrations also coincide with the beginning of the 2013 Asian Youth Olympics, which get underway with an Opening Ceremony this evening before ten days of sporting action which double as a test event for next year.

As well as the official games mascot Nanjinglele, dignitaries present included International Olympic Committee (IOC) members Yang Yang and Yu Zaiqing from China and Norway's Gerhard Heiberg, Nanjing Deputy Mayors Liu Yian and Qi Lu, as well as Omega President Stephen Urquhart.

"All of us were so impressed by the talent on display in Singapore at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games [in 2010]," said Urquhart.

"The fact that some of the athletes there have already gone on to win Olympic medals speaks volumes about their ability.

"In Nanjing, the spectators will have the chance to see that the future of international sport is very promising indeed."

The Omega clock symbolises the one year to go countdown to Nanjing 2014

One dignitary not present was the IOC President Jacques Rogge but he did leave a recorded message voicing his approval.

"In exactly one year, Nanjing will welcome the world's best young athletes for the second edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games," he said.

"Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the talented Organising Committee team, Nanjing will certainly host a wonderful and memorable Youth Olympic Games,"

"These Games will offer the chance to witness something very special - the Olympic champions of the future.

"They will inspire young people around the world to become more active in sports and encourage them to embrace, embody and live by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect," he added.

The Games will involve athletes from all over the world competing in 28 sports over a 13 day period beginning on August 16 2014.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
May 2013: Olympic champion Isinbayeva unveiled as Nanjing 2014 ambassador
May 2013: Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics "really taking shape" says IOC Coordination Commission
April 2013: Virtual Asian Games Torch Relay to go live next month
April 2013: Nanjing 2014 launch new website to celebrate 500 days to go
January 2013: IOC President Rogge hails "impressive progress" of Nanjing 2014