Universiade kicks off with clourful Opening Ceremony
August 12th, the kick-off of the 26th Summer Universiade took place with the traditional Opening Ceremony. A third Universiade for China, after 2001 (Summer) in Beijing and 2009 (Winter) in Harbin. Therefore, the expectations were high as the Chinese are known to be masters in staging big shows. And once again the hosts did not disappoint. A dazzling and colorful show took place in front of 25,000 spectators giving the green light for 12 days of thrilling sport competitions between student-athletes in 24 sports. The giant screens showed a countdown and when this came to an end, a giant representing the spirit of the Opening-up and Reform Era opened the ‘Gate of the World’ for the delegations to enter. Led by beautiful Chinese girls, the athletes walk along ‘Youth Avenue’. At the rostrum, they separate in two different directions and get seated in their designated sections.
The three high ranking officials of the Universiade, Mr. Wang Rong, Vice-President of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Yuan Guiren, President of the OC and Mr. Killian, outgoing FISU President delivered their speech from the middle of the arena while surrounded by bright colors. At the end of his speech, Mr. Killian inviteed the President of China, Mr. Hu Jingtao to declare the Universiade open. It was a great honor for FISU to have the President of China open the Universiade. Besides Mr. Hu Jingtao, seven other heads of state were present at the Opening Ceremony.