The 31st FISU World University Games Summer, or the Summer Universiade, took place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, on July 28-August 8. Student athletes from around the world gathered there to demonstrate the charm of competitive sports while at the same time enjoying a cultural feast. FISU, or the International University Sports Federation, is the global organization providing world-class sports events to student athletes. A total of 6,500 athletes from 113 countries and regions competed in 269 events across 18 sports during this Summer Universiade.
Although the Chengdu Universiade was rescheduled twice from 2021 to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China completed all the necessary preparations. The concepts of low carbon and environmental protection ran through the entire setup, while advanced technology was widely used in venue construction, operation and service.
Chengdu was the third city on the Chinese mainland to host the event, following Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, in 2011. China's active efforts to host important international sports events, including the Universiade, indicate the country's willingness to assume increasing responsibility. Cooperation with the worldwide community to host major sports events speaks volumes of China's openness.
But the Summer Universiade wasn't just a grand sports event; it was also a salute to young friendship. During the event, Chengdu hosted a range of educational and cultural activities to deepen exchanges between student athletes from China and other parts of the world. In the current context of an international community rife with uncertainty due to armed conflicts, populism and anti-globalization, this celebration of youth instilled a very necessary sense of solidarity.
Sichuan, in southwest China, is home to the giant panda and has been referred to as the "land of abundance" since ancient times. Its capital Chengdu, founded some 4,500 years ago and with an urban history of 2,300 years, is renowned for its unique cultural heritage. It has been recognized as one of the best tourism cities in China by the World Tourism Organization for its exceptional natural scenery, history and culture, pleasant climate and beautiful landscape. It is also a UNESCO City of Gastronomy for its position as the epicenter of Sichuan cuisine.
And it's the city that turned an athletic competition into a vibrant celebration of youth, connecting student athletes through games, cultural activities and shared experiences.