(ECNS) -- Chengdu, the host city of this year’s World University Games in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has garnered international acclaim as athletes from around the world gather to compete.
With participation from 6,500 athletes representing 113 countries and regions, the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games has served as a unique lens through which the world can gain insight into China.
For Queen Esther Sakala, a Zambian tennis player, her previous understanding of China was limited to Jackie Chan and the Hollywood movie “Kung Fu Panda.” She said that China is very different from what she had envisioned and the people here are friendly.
Besides competition and training routines, participants from all around the world have immersed themselves in Chengdu, a city known for its felicity and vibrant lifestyle, for example, partaking in local eateries, mastering the art to use chopsticks and savoring various dipping sauces, pursuing local markets such as Chunxi Road and Lotus Pond Wholesale Market, visiting the adorable giant pandas in their natural habitat, practicing calligraphy and painting opera masks, and flying kites and trying on traditional Hanfu costumes.
Faustina Pascucci Osiroff, a gymnastics player from Argentina, expressed her wish to learn more about Chinese culture, stressing that although Chinese is difficult, its uniqueness captivates her.
Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, a member of the International University Sports Federation, praised the city as a window to understanding China because Chengdu reflects China’s warm hospitality and cultural heritage.
“Being able to participate in such a large-scale sporting event is truly fantastic. It’s akin to the Olympics I had imagined. Everything is organized smoothly, and we have excellent conditions for rowing here,” said a German rower named Walter, highlighting the supportive infrastructure provided by the Chengdu World University Games.
Among the 49 sports venues, 13 are newly built venues that showcased stunning architecture and advanced facilities, while 36 renovated venues were revamped to international A-level standards.
Cutting-edge technologies permeate daily experiences. For instance, the intelligent interpretation system at the University Games Village delivers real-time translation across 83 languages, coffee-making robots brew an array of flavors in just 90 seconds, and the 3D photo studio captures 800 all-around character portraits in just 3 seconds.
The closing ceremony of the Chengdu World University Games will be held at the Chengdu Open Air Music Park, the only outdoor music-themed urban park in the country, on Tuesday night.
Breaking free from the conventional opening and closing ceremonies held within arenas, this finale strives to highlight the unique characteristics of Chengdu and the idea that happiness knows no bounds.
Regarding this creative approach, Jia Ding, the director of the closing ceremony, said, “Chengdu people are innovative deep down and they hope to stand out in whatever they do. Therefore, we must think outside the box to resonate with Chengdu’s aesthetics.”