29 July 2023 | in Summer FISU World University Games
Immediately following FISU Acting President Leonz Eder’s speech (see below), Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the Chengdu FISU World University Games open.
Apart from meeting with Leonz Eder, Xi also met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Mauritanian President Ould Cheikh Ghazouani, Burundian leader Evariste Ndayishimiye and Guyanese President Irfaan Aliamong in the build-up to the Opening Ceremony.
The delegations parade featured athletes from 113 countries, with the host country largely toping the other teams in terms of number of participants.
Under the direction of Chen Weiya, Chief of the Creative Team, the Opening Ceremony at at the Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium included several breathtaking shows by selected local performers.
The flame lighting, gigantic fireworks and the song Make Dreams Come True – hymn of the Games – ended what will remain as an extraordinary event.
FISU Acting President Leonz Eder speech:
What a day – so great to be here with all of you – let’s write history together here in Chengdu!
Your Excellency, President Xi Jinping
Dear honoured Guests
Thank you to Minister HUAI Jinpeng, for your kind words of welcome.
My special thanks to the Government of the P.R. of China, the local Government, the Federation of University Sports of China, to the Organising Committee and to everyone that has been involved with this ambitious project of bringing you these simple, safe, and splendid Games. FISU says xie xie !
Dear athletes, you have shown great patience. For many of you, your university experience has been unlike any other in these past years, and for reasons not of your choosing. But here we are, finally, ready to enjoy these FISU World University Games. I thank you all for your readiness to overcome all kind of difficulties. Together, we have created a Games worth waiting for.
Dear students, we live in an uncertain world with an uncertain future. We know how much you are concerned by the conflict between countries. By the conflict with our planet and our climate as we are also.
But as we look to you, the next generation, we see great hope. One thing I know we can be certain of, is your potential to create better days ahead. I have no doubt that we can build a better world, with you as our future leaders. And I have no doubt that sport can help.
By coming together to peacefully celebrate human performance, already you are showing the way forward. Remember that there is much more to the FISU World University Games than your sporting results.
Enjoy this precious time alongside each other. Learn from one another. Make new memories and make new friends. Speak with each other. Speak with the volunteers. Learn about this wonderful place that is hosting us: its people, its history, its culture. Share what you learn with your friends, your family, your fans, your followers.
We may have a global society now. But moments where you can live together, with so many young people from so many different places, even for a short time, are deeply special.
This is the magic of the FISU World University Games.
To make this magic happen has taken the efforts of thousands. I know you will remember that in these coming days. A big “thank you” again to China, the City of Chengdu, the members of the Organizing Committee and the volunteers: xie xie !
Dear athletes, please accept my best wishes, and those of all of us at FISU, for the competitions to come.
Now, it is my great honour to invite His Excellency, President of the People’s Republic of China, to take the floor.
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