UNIVERSIADE: 'We did it!' vice president exclaims at closing ceremony

2017/08/30 23:12:36
Taipei Mayor Ko (left) hands FISU flag to FISU President Matytsin, who then handed it over to Raimondo Pasquino (right), chairman of the 2019 Naples Universiade Organizing Committee.

Taipei Mayor Ko (left) hands FISU flag to FISU President Matytsin, who then handed it over to Raimondo Pasquino (right), chairman of the 2019 Naples Universiade Organizing Committee.

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) Taiwan has proven to the world that it is capable of hosting a large international sports event, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Wednesday, telling the crowd "we did it!" at the close of the Taipei Universiade.

"My dear fellow Taiwanese, we did it!" Chen said at the games' closing ceremony at Taipei Stadium.

He thanked officials from the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the supervisory body of the Universiade, for its support since Taipei won the bid to host the games six years ago.

"We have proven to the world that a city in Taiwan is absolutely capable of organizing a large-scale international sports event," he said.

He also paid respects and gave blessings to all the athletes and invited them to visit Taiwan again.

"The 23 million free, open, enthusiastic and hospitable Taiwanese people will always open their arms and welcome you," Chen said.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who chairs the Taipei Summer Universiade Executive Committee, thanked the athletes for enriching Taipei over the past 12 days with their pursuit of excellence.

He also thanked the "countless unsung heroes" that made the event possible, including the police, transportation people, medical staff, firefighters and over 19,000 volunteers, and offered special thanks to the audience who purchased tickets to watch the games.

"Because of you, Taiwan has the opportunity to prove its strength to the world," he said.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin, meanwhile, thanked the athletes for the passion they have given Taipei.

"As the athletes prepare to go home, I know they will take part of Taipei with them," he said. "I know, this city and this people will have a special place in their hearts for the years to come."

During the closing ceremony, Ko also handed the FISU flag over to the organizers of the 2019 Naples Summer Universiade.

The night was filled with music performances from Taiwanese singers and bands, including Jia Jia (家家), LaLa Hsu (徐佳瑩), Samingad Blubluone (紀曉君) and punk-rock band Fire EX.

Teatro di San Carlo, an opera house in Naples, also lit up the night with its music and dance performances.

Toward the end of the ceremony, adults and children dressed up as Taiwanese folk deities marched in a religious procession before extinguishing the Universiade cauldron, as a gesture to thank the gods for their protection in the course of the games.

The Taipei Universiade, the largest international sports event ever hosted in Taiwan, attracted the participation of over 7,300 athletes from 134 countries, who competed in 271 events in 21 sports for 1,978 medals.

(By Christie Chen)
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