Chengdu marks 30-day countdown to FISU World University Games
CHENGDU, China, June 28 (Xinhua) -- As the 30-day countdown to the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games commenced, a flurry of vibrant celebratory activities ignited the host city of Chengdu in southwest China on Wednesday.
The Universiade has suffered two postponements due to several factors, with the COVID-19 pandemic being a significant hurdle that posed substantial challenges for the preparatory work.
Nevertheless, over the past three years, Chengdu has successfully overseen the construction, renovation, and expansion of 49 stadiums and gyms. These facilities pride themselves on top-tier hardware and service software, adhering to international competition standards.
Starting from April, eighteen test events have concluded, involving 5,825 participants from 367 teams.
Alan Shaw, a Universiade expert, voiced his confidence in the games' success after concluding a test event for rhythmic gymnastics at the Chengdu Sport University's gymnastics hall.
In May, Gianni Merlo, the president of AIPS, along with members of the Executive Committee, attended the World Media Conference held in Chengdu. Merlo commended the city's stadiums as being of Olympic-level quality and expressed his awe at the city's stunning surroundings.
On June 10, the torch relay for the Universiade started with a ceremony at Peking University. The torch, named "Rong Huo," journeyed through several cities, including Beijing, Harbin, Shenzhen, Chongqing, and Yibin.
Zhang Hong, China's first Winter Olympic speed skating champion and a member of the International Olympic Committee, was the initial torchbearer in the Harbin torch relay.
Also an associate professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology, Zhang Hong shared her exhilaration of being a torchbearer again. She views the Universiade as a platform for youth growth and the realization of dreams.
At the training ground of Chengdu Tianfu International Competitive Training Center, Fan Tianrui trains diligently every day. The 21-year-old recently marked his international debut and clinched the bronze medal in the men's 400m race in 47.30 seconds at the 2023 Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships.
"We strive to showcase the grace and skill of our youthful athletes through the Universiade. Moreover, we aim to exhibit the confidence and perseverance of our Chengdu athletes to a global audience," Fan declared.
The FISU amended the registration rules to ensure that university students do not lose their eligibility due to the postponement. Consequently, college athletes who met the qualifications in 2021 are still eligible to participate in the Chengdu Universiade.
At Chengdu's Dong'an Lake Sports Park, a towering 31-meter-high torch consists of 12 spirals, symbolizing the sun's rays. In just 30 days, the torch will be ignited by college students from around the globe. Together, they will exhibit their youthful spirit and vitality.
Aili, a graduate student from Sichuan University, is crafting a creative short film to showcase the Universiade, themed "Sports Chengdu."
"My usual haunt is Dong'an Lake Sports Park, the principal venue for the Universiade and a public space for everyday citizens. It's a comfortable and pleasant location," said Aili.
Chengdu will become the third city on the Chinese mainland to host the biennial Summer Universiade, following Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in 2011.
The Chengdu 2021 Universiade will feature 269 events across 18 sports. In addition to 15 mandatory sports, the Games also includes three optional sports -- rowing, shooting, and Wushu.