The 31st FISU World University Games were officially launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, July 28th, 2023, at the Dongan Lake Sports Park Stadium in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The commencement of the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games comes after a two-year anticipation, representing a significant stride in global sports recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening ceremony was a captivating fusion of artistic performances and sporting fervor. The event united 6,500 student-athletes hailing from 113 countries, each excited to display their skills and build camaraderie on an international platform. Hosted at the Dong’an Lake Sports Stadium, the ceremony featured an enthralling showcase of fireworks and captivating performances that enchanted both attendees and global viewers.
The ceremony, enveloped in an atmosphere teeming with youthful energy and international solidarity, saw President Xi Jinping officially inaugurating the games. He underlined the Games’ role as a symbol of unity and friendship among nations. The event encompassed the traditional march-past of participants, athletes’ and officials’ oaths, and culminated with the ceremonial lighting of the Games’ cauldron.
Huai Jinpeng, president of the organizing committee of the Chengdu World University Games, extended a heartfelt welcome to athletes, coaches, technical officials, and esteemed guests from around the world. He emphasized the essence of the FISU World University Games as a celebration of youth and friendship, highlighting the meticulous preparations undertaken to ensure a seamless, secure, and remarkable sporting extravaganza.
FISU acting president Leonz Eder expressed deep gratitude to the Chinese government, Sichuan Province, Chengdu City, and all contributors for their collective efforts in realizing the event. Eder emphasized the significance of such international gatherings in fostering intercultural connections and creating enduring memories. He underscored the uniqueness of physically sharing moments with peers from around the globe, even in today’s digitally connected world.
The Chengdu Universiade, spanning from July 28th to August 8th, will host competitions across 18 sports encompassing 269 events. The games encompass both compulsory and optional sports, including the newly introduced rowing, shooting, and Wushu disciplines, providing athletes with a platform to showcase their abilities.
The event’s motto, “Chengdu Makes Dreams Come True,” perfectly encapsulates its spirit. Chengdu stands as the third city on the Chinese mainland to host the Summer Universiade, following Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in 2011. This achievement reaffirms China’s dedication to nurturing international sportsmanship and collaboration.
As the world’s gaze turns to Chengdu, the 2021 FISU World University Games promise an awe-inspiring display of athleticism, unity, and shared aspirations. Athletes are poised to push their boundaries, forge cross-cultural bonds, and forge cherished memories, leaving an enduring imprint on the global sporting landscape.