The 31st FISU World University Games, or Summer Universiade, which kicked off in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Friday and will continue till Aug 8, promises to be a spectacular affair. It may not be as grand as the Summer and Winter Olympics which Beijing hosted in 2008 and 2022 respectively, but it will showcase the skills, stamina, speed and staying power of athletes, many of whom could be the stars of tomorrow.
With 6,500 athletes from 113 countries and regions participating, the Summer Universiade is expected to exhilarate spectators with some nail-biting finishes and tough contests. At stake are 269 gold medals.
Youth is the color of the Universiade and the vigor of youth is its character. All the athletes participating in the Universiade are either undergraduate or postgraduate students or have graduated in the past two years.
The 411-member Chinese team’s average age is 22.9 years, an age that combines the esprit and impulse of youth. And the fact that 34 of the Chinese athletes have already participated in the Olympics shows how much importance China attaches to the event.
As the first major sports event to be held after China adjusted its pandemic prevention and control policy at the end of 2022 and the World Health Organization lifted the Public Health Emergency of International Concern for COVID-19 in May, the Universiade has warmly welcomed not only the 6,500 athletes, but also over 1,600 officials and about 3,000 journalists. As such, the event signifies the resumption of people-to-people exchanges on a larger scale.
To ensure the Universiade’s success, Chengdu has built 13 new gymnasiums and upgraded 36 venues, and the Universiade Village it has constructed on the Chengdu University campus can accommodate 11,000 athletes, officials and other participants. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the village offers world-class services in catering, leisure and cultural exchanges. Providing these services will be 1,800 staff members and 2,600 volunteers.
Besides sports, this session of the Universiade also features a record number of academic essays related to it, accompanied by sport forum for the Generation Z and other cultural activities. This sports event is more than about sports, as it has also become a messenger of peace, friendship and pursuit of common dreams.
The Chinese people are ready to share the joy of playing and watching sports with the whole world and welcome people from all parts of the world to visit the country as guests. Chengdu is only one of the places and the Universiade only one of the events showcasing the charm of Chinese culture.
Inspired by the Universiade’s slogan of “Chengdu Makes Dreams Come True”, all the young athletes will realize sweat is sweet and no challenge big enough to weaken their spirit. While challenging the limits of their endurance, they will be witnesses to Chengdu embracing the world with the Universiade.
Editorial, China Daily