The opening ceremony of the first National Youth Games is held in East China's Fujian province on Oct 18, 2015. HU MEIDONG/CHINA DAILY
A total of 7,959 young athletes from all over the country will compete at the first National Youth Games held in East China's Fujian province from Oct 18 to 27.
Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, will stage more than 60 percent of the 305 events, while eight other cities and the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, will also host events.
This is the largest sports event that the province has hosted.
The opening ceremony was held at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center in Fuzhou on Sunday.
You Quan, Party chief of Fujian province, said at the opening ceremony that with the support of the central government, the province has worked hard in the past four years to prepare for the event, in an efort to encourage more youngsters to develop the sporting spirit.
Minister of General Administration of Sports Liu Peng thanked everybody for their hard work in preparing for the games and Vice-Premier Liu Yandong announced the start of the Games.
Xue Chen, beach volleyball world champion and a native of Fuzhou, had the honor of lighting the jasmine-shaped torch at the ceremony.
Jasmine, the city flower of Fuzhou, played a unique role at the opening ceremony and will throughout the games.
To the rhythm of the Chinese folk song Jasmine Flower, a total of 1,200 female performers formed patterns representing the three rivers－the Minjiang, the Bailong and the Wulong－that converge at Fuzhou before flowing into the East China Sea.
"The performance symbolized the areas the athletes come from," said Shi Zhenhua, operation director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the National Youth Games and president of the Fuzhou Song and Dance Theater.
A total of 1.4 metric tons of jasmine flowers will be used during the 10-day event. The flowers will be made into corsages for the guests, wreaths for the medalists and necklaces for the delegation members.