Top sports stars gather in Singapore for IOC Athletes' Forum

Some of the world's top athletes, both current and former, will descend on Singapore from today to take part in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Forum which begins on Thursday.

They include Olympic shooting champion Abhinav Bindra of India, recently-retired badminton player Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, former Russian swim star Alexander Popov and winter Olympic speed-skating champion Yang Yang of China.

IOC president Jacques Rogge will also be in town to attend the three-day forum.

The biennial meeting gathers athletes, representatives of the International Federations of Olympic sports and the five Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees to discuss topics of direct concern to them.

New Zealand's Barbara Kendall, who won a gold in windsurfing at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, was at Marina Bay Sands on Wednesday to speak to some 50 local athletes in an Athlete Career Programme forum discussion organised by the Singapore National Olympic Council Athletes' Commission, human resource consulting company Adecco and the Singapore Sports Institute.

"Your primary focus is to be the best in your athletic career because you only have one chance (at it)," she told those gathered, adding that athletes do have their transition into the workforce at the back of their minds.

"You've got to keep everything in perspective at the same time. But this time as an athlete is very precious. The result that you get as an athlete is something money can't buy."

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