31st FISU World University Games kicks off in Chengdu
The opening ceremony of the 31st International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games began at the Dongan Lake Sports Park in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, with two key words: sunshine and dreams, CGTN reports.
A 12-second countdown was launched with fireworks coming from a picture of the Golden Sun Bird, the city logo of Chengdu, at the center of the stadium, marking the beginning of the ceremony.
The Golden Sun Bird represents the sun, which shines on the young athletes and their dreams. Chen Weiya, director of the ceremony, wants to show to the audience that both the Universiade and sports itself represent the spirit of fighting forward. It has been his dream to make the ceremony a magnificent event filled with sunshine.
After that, representatives of all delegations to the Chengdu Universiade began the parade in the alphabetical order.
Chinese athletes entered the stadium last as the hosts. Guo Hanyu from Southwest University and Hu Zhenzhuo from Tsinghua University were the flag bearers for China, which sent a total of 530 participants, including some 460 athletes, managing directors and coaches and more than 70 officials, to the parade.
Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the Chengdu Universiade open.
There will be 6,500 athletes from 113 countries and regions around the world competing in 269 events of 18 sports at the Chengdu Universiade from July 28 to August 8. Of those, 3,512 of them are men and 2,988 are women. China will have a total of 411 athletes participating at home, 206 in the men's events and 205 in the women's events; 387 of them will make their debut at the Summer World University Games and 344 of them have never competed in any international comprehensive games before.
The first gold medal will come from the taolu (routine) wushu (Chinese martial arts) event on Saturday.