World Press Briefing shows confidence in Chengdu Games
SW China city ready to stage splendid Universiade
Published: May 17, 2023 12:09 AM
Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

With 73 days left to go before the 31st FISU Summer World University Games, Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province hosted a world press briefing on Monday to tell the world that the city is ready to host an international sports event with local characteristics.

"It will be a big festival for universities and for students all over the world," said FISU acting president Leonz Eder in a video address on Monday at the opening of the World Press Briefing. "Media partners are very important to us," he added. 

"Sports are important because they unite the young generations of the world. The FISU World University Games are an open door for young people from all over the world," President of the International Sports Press Association Giovanni Merlo told the Global Times on Monday. 

"It always plays an important role in developing college sports in various countries and regions, also promoting cultural exchanges among the world's youth."

At the World Press Briefing, a warm-up event before the official opening of the Universiade, the Executive Committee of the Chengdu Universiade introduced the progress of the preparations for the event and relevant information about the media services to the global media. 

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Due to the pandemic, the preparation work for the event has faced unprecedented challenges, which have been postponed. However, "we will finally meet on July 28 this year at another unique sports event after challenges and twists," said Merlo.

"The press preparation is good; all the facilities are ready. They are proper, very new and modern. I believe that all the journalists, everybody will work very well there. It will be an exciting adventure," he added.  

The FISU-AIPS Young Reporters Programme was also officially launched to fulfill the FISU's commitment to more than sports competitions. At every FISU World University Games, a group of talented aspiring sports journalists are chosen to cover the 12 days of competition.

Since it began at the Summer Universiade 2011, the Young Reporters Programme has been a success as the young journalists bring a fresh perspective to the reporting. The students have full credential access to the Athlete Village and competition venues, just like any other professional journalist. With this access, young reporters in the past have shown an uncanny ability to take audiences behind the scenes and discover diamond-in-the-rough stories.

Chengdu will become the third city in the Chinese mainland to host the biennial Summer Universiade, following Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province in 2011. This celebration of international university sports and culture brings together thousands of student-athletes, making it one of the world's largest multi-sports events.

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Starting from July 28 to August 8, the Universiade will feature 269 events under 18 sports. In addition to 15 mandatory sports, the Games also include three optional sports: rowing, shooting and martial arts.

The city has constructed 13 new venues and facilities while renovating 36 others. All sports facilities, including the Dong'an Lake Sports Park where the opening ceremony will take place, were put into use by April 2021.

In keeping with the FISU's motto of "Excellence in Mind and Body," the Games integrate educational and cultural aspects, encouraging student-athletes worldwide to combine top-notch sports performance with intellectual pursuits.

During the Chengdu Universiade, the organizers plan to arrange a series of sports and cultural activities, such as observing giant pandas and enjoying Sichuan Opera, to highlight the host city's unique features. For now, the Games have recruited 20,000 volunteers for the main events, while millions of others are volunteering for periphery events in the city. 

From its cute panda mascot, Rongbao, to Sichuan Opera, the host city is hoping to make full use of its rich cultural resources to build a stage for these young students to compete, stay and communicate like friends. 

Short video Listen to the Hustle and Bustle of Chengdu was also released worldwide on Monday to pay tribute to all the reporters who are covering the Games. In the video, a group of 24 musicians and dancers at the Yongling Museum in Chengdu come to life and take audiences on a trip to modern Chengdu. 

Cultural activities will not only take place in every corner of the city, but also in the main press center (MPC). Kong Jing, the media operations manager, told the Global Times that the MPC will host various intangible cultural heritage activities including Chinese massage experiences, woodblock painting, sugar painting and tea art performances. 

Additionally, the media backpack also has Chinese cultural elements like a precious brocade armband featuring Five Stars Rise in the East, which was used by ancient people to protect themselves when shooting arrows.