President Xi Jinping officially opens 31st World University Games


Chengdu Universiade opens and provides an opportunity for participants from all over the world to write a chapter of youth. The 31st summer edition of the International University Sport Federation Games (FISU) kicked off on Friday evening in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and declared the Games open.

Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, together with leaders and distinguished guests from all over the world, attended the opening ceremony.

Against the night sky, Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium was illuminated by dazzling lights and fireworks. A vibrant performance given by university students in Chengdu preceded the ceremony, which added to the lively atmosphere in the stadium. 

At 19:58, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, together with FISU Acting President Leonz Eder and others, stepped onto the rostrum to a song with the theme of peace and the community for a shared future, waving to the audience. A prolonged round of enthusiastic applause filled the venue.

Participating delegations from 113 countries and regions marched on along the pass paved with Sichuan brocade patterns meaning “Road of Splendor,” which received a warm welcome from the audience. 

The Chinese delegation with over 700 members entered last as the host nation. Xi stood up and waved his hand, and the whole stadium was filled with joy, with applause and cheers echoing through the stadium. China has sent 411 athletes to compete in all 18 sports.

Huai Jinpeng, president of the organizing committee of the Chengdu Universiade, delivered a speech. On behalf of the committee, he extended warm welcome to the athletes, coaches, technical officials and guests from 113 countries and regions around the world, wishing them to carry forward sportsmanship, display the vigor of youth and forge solidarity and friendship.

In his speech, FISU acting president Leonz Eder expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese government, Sichuan province, Chengdu city and all participants for their joint efforts in creating an outstanding sports gala that will live up to people’s expectations, sending his best wishes to the participating athletes.

At 21:16 Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the 31st FISU Summer World University Games in Chengdu open. Suddenly, the whole audience burst with excitement, and fireworks soared into the air, blooming in the shape of “welcome” in both Chinese and English.

Eight young people including outstanding Chinese athletes and representatives of volunteers entered the stadium holding the flag of FISU. To the accompaniment of the song of FISU, its flag was raised gently and flew high together with China’s national flag.

On behalf of all the participating athletes and technical officials, respectively, athlete Tang Ziting and referee Liu Jiang took the oath.

At 21:40, the ceremony of lighting the cauldron began. Over the past one month, the sacred flame of the FISU World University Games obtained from Turin, Italy had been relayed through universities in Beijing, Harbin, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Yibin and Chengdu before it finally reached the destination—Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium.

While the cauldron with the pattern of “Sun and Immortal Birds” was rising gently in the center of the stadium, thirty-one torch-bearers including astronaut Ye Guangfu entered the stadium holding high the torches in their hands. With all attention of the audience on them, the torch-bearers ran to the cauldron and formed a circle. They lit up the “Sun and Immortal Birds” with their torches, which began to shine radiantly. The Universiade flame conveys the best wishes of university students across the world to the Universiade.

“Light up the world and hear the singing of life”, “Brighten prospects of future, look into a beautiful scene in the distance”… Gathering under the flame, young students sang the theme song of the FISU opening ceremony, “Make Dreams Come True”, turning the whole stadium into a sea of joy.

Overseas leaders attending the opening ceremony are Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana Joko Widodo, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani, Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, Guyanan President Irfaan Ali, and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

Wang Yi, Li Ganjie, Wang Xiaohong, and Shen Yiqin were present.

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