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04 August 2017 | in Multisports, Summer Universiade

Taipei Universiade torch relay continues its LOVE route across Taipei

 

TAINAN - The Taipei Universiade torch relay continues to follow its ‘LOVE’-route that will connect 22 cities and counties. After the completion of the L and O parts of the route, the longest part of the relay, the V shaped part, began on 25 July. Starting from Taitung County, then it moved to Pingtung County, Kaohsiung City, Chiayi County and Yunlin County, now it is reaching Tainan City.  

 

Taipei City torchbearer Shu-Qi Yuan and Tainan City torchbearer Wen-Zong Zhang light up the torch at Koxinga Temple

 

The Tainan relay began at one of the busiest times of the day, 7 pm, on 3 August. The relay started from the historic Koxinga Temple to the national historic site Chi-kan Tower, 2.3 kilometers in total. Koxinga Temple (or Koxinga Shrine/Zheng Chenggong Temple) was the earliest government temple enshrining Koxinga in the period when Chinese Taipei was ruled by the Qing dynasty. It was being listed as Tainan’s ninth historic building in 2010. Chi-kan Tower was built by the Dutch who occupied the southern part of the island in 1653, and was originally being known as Provintia. It was an administrative and commercial center back in the day. Chi-kan Tower was being listed as a first-class historic site in 1983. Alongside Koxinga Temple, it is one of the most important historic sites and visitor attractions in Tainan city. The Department of Sport of Tainan City Government stated that Tainan has more city-designated historic sites than any other city/county in Chinese Taipei, and a relay route that connected two of the most historic buildings was specifically chosen to reflect this fact. The route went along Fuqian Road, Xiaoximen Circle, Ximen Road and then Minzu Road; along the way were sites like Confucian Temple, Butokuden, Tainan Patriotic Women's Association, Tainan Judicial Museum (originally Tainan District Court) and many other well-known snacks shops. The city government hoped to combine the city’s historic sites, local products and snacks, and introduced them to friends within Chinese Taipei and across the world, and to show them the beauty of Tainan’s history and culture.

 

Tainan City torch relay team passing the torch at night

Taipei Universiade Organising Committee attached great importance to the Tainan relay and invited Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee CEO Li-Chiung Su, along with Taipei City’s torchbearer Shu-Qi Yuan, on behalf of Taipei Mayor Wen-Je Ko, to hand over the torch. Archer Shu-Qi Yuan won a silver medal in the mixed team archery recurve event, a bronze medal in the women’s team recurve event at the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, a gold medal in the individual event at the 2002 Asian Games, and another bronze medal in the women’s event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Her previous success at the Universiades made her an ideal choice as a torchbearer. At Koxinga Temple, Yuan passed the torch, which represents the spirit of Love and Peace, to the relay team made up of members from Tainan City Baseball Team. At the end of the relay, the torch arrived at Chi-kan Tower, then was handed to Tainan City Mayor William Lai (Qing-De Lai), who then handed it back to CEO Su and Taipei’s torchbearer Shu-Qi Yuan , ended the relay successfully.

 

The relay team, Tainan City Baseball Team, was founded in 2014. Led by its head coach Wen-Zong Zhang, the team has 29 members and aims to promote community baseball and grassroots baseball within Tainan. Tainan is currently hosting the WBSCU-12 Baseball World Cup at Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium, Shanhua Baseball Stadium and Guiren Baseball Stadium, in which 12 national teams from around the world are competing against each other. Mayor Lai invited baseball fans from all over Chinese Taipei and around the world to come to cheer for the players and enjoy this grand summer vacation baseball carnival. He also asked Tainan citizens to give their full support to Chinese Taipei athletes during the Universiade from 19 to 30 August, as they uphold the Olympic spirit and seek glory for Chinese Taipei.

 

Tainan City torch relay successfully completed in front of Chi- kan Tower

 

The torch relay that heralds the imminent start of the Universiade began overseas when the mother flame was lit at a ceremony in Turin, Italy on 20 June. After a busy schedule that saw the relay held in four cities in three countries over 10 days, the sacred flame was carried to the top of Chinese Taipei’s highest mountain, Mt. Jade, on the first leg of the Taipei torch relay. The torch relay is now following a LOVE- shaped route that will link 22 counties and cities across the island. The L part and O parts of the route that linked three cities/counties and four cities/counties, respectively, have been completed. After today’s Tainan relay, the V part of the torch relay is also completed. Next, start from August 4, the final stage of the torch relay, the E part, will be in Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Taoyuan City, New Taipei City, Keelung City, and then come back to Taipei City on 10 August. Everyone is welcome to participate in and cheer for the sacred flame. Not only is it a great way to encourage the torchbearers, but also a great opportunity to view the brilliant torch up close and feel how exciting the relay is with the sportsmanship behind it.

 

(Source: OC Taipei 2017)

 

 

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