China offers friendship as 2019 Military World Games open(2)

2019-10-19 09:34:22Xinhua Editor : Huang Mingrui ECNS App Download
Special: The 7th Military World Games

The flame was first lit in east China's Nanchang, the birthplace of China's armed forces (known as the the PLA), in August this year.

Defense department and military leaders from 42 nations were invited to attend the opening ceremony.


The Military World Games, also known as the "Olympics for the military," is the top multi-sports event for soldiers from across the globe.

Founded in 1948, three years after the end of World War II, the CISM has hosted the Military World Games every four years since 1995. In May 2015, China, a member state of CISM, won the bid to host the 2019 Games with Wuhan appointed host city.

The Games have been previously held in countries including Italy, Croatia, India, Brazil and South Korea.

There are many firsts for this year's Games. The Games have the largest number of sports, with badminton, table tennis, tennis and men's gymnastics and women's boxing events being held for the first time.

For the first time in the CISM World Games history, the Games are open to the public, instead of being confined to the military bases. More than 200,000 tickets had been sold before the Games opened, according to the organizing committee.

Also, it's the first time that all competitions have been held within one city, where 35 sports venues were built or renovated to meet international standards. After the Games, most facilities will allow public access and the rest can be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere.

Mark Juliano, a U.S. archery and taekwondo player, said that before arriving he had read news reports about the preparatory work of the Military World Games here in Wuhan and watched videos about the athletes' village and the venues.

"You developed world-class venues and I can't wait to experience the Games," he told Xinhua reporters in the airport.

It's the first Games to feature a newly-built athletes' village. The lakeside compound, with 1,958 suites in 30 buildings, was completed in two years, with a speed of building one floor every five days.

Also inside the village are canteens, banks, medical centers, fitness clubs, convenience stores and souvenir shops.

"I was quite overwhelmed when I arrived here because it's just so big and there's thought about everything. The staffs here have done everything they can to make the athletes as comfortable as possible. I am pleased to see how much effort the Chinese people have put into the Military World Games," Danish shooter Camilla Schriver told Xinhua in the village.

"Everything here is perfect. I can't be more content about it. And I am surprised to have found the African champagne here in the canteen," said Laury Pembouabeka, a boxer from the Republic of Congo.

Furthermore, there are numerous eye-catching elements outside the stadiums. Robots with cutting-edge AI technologies have played an essential role in the construction of the power supply system, which helps save energy and make the Games more eco-friendly.

And there's a 5G network covering all the venues. The city is taking this opportunity to showcase its 5G-infrastructure construction.

Known as the "city of river and lakes," Wuhan is the biggest city in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The rich water resources and green environment helped Wuhan win its bid to become the host city for the Games.

A cute creature called Bingbing, which in Mandarin is a reference to soldiers, is the Games' mascot. Its design was inspired by the Chinese sturgeon - a critically endangered and strictly protected fish that has existed for more than 140 million years and is one of the oldest living animals in the Yangtze River.

A stunning Military World Games-themed light show has been staged along the Yangtze River in Wuhan to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, and it's a sparkly symbol of the friendship and peace among the world's militaries.

"I have been able to observe the very high-level organization demonstrated by the executive committee," Herve Piccirillo told a press conference before the ceremony. "These Games will have nothing to envy to other world-class sports events and will allow the city of Wuhan to position itself as one of the major hubs of international sport."


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