Preparations for Taipei’s coming-out party as host to high-profile, world-class events were years in the making. Taipei organisers and city planners saw the Universiade as much more than an international sporting event.
When athletes from around the world walked into Taipei Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the Universiade, the stage was set for this to be a city-transforming social movement. Since winning the right to host the event to after the FISU flame was extinguished to mark the end of Summer Universiade 2017, Taipei’s commitment to urban revitalization and public participation has only grown. Taipei shined bright on the world stage.
The revelry in Taipei kicked off well before athletes from around the world marched into Taipei Stadium. The flame that lit the cauldron and marked the opening of the Universiade was lit in Torino, Italy — the city where the Universiade got its start back in 1959. From the University of Turin campus, the flame made its way to the island of Taiwan.
From peaks touching 4,000 metres high to historic lighthouses, the FISU flame made its way around the island before arriving in Taipei Stadium on the 19th of August to light the cauldron and mark the official start of the 29th edition of the Summer Universiade.
The lucky torchbearers who carried the flame from the streets of Torino to Taipei Stadium wore a distinctive outfit from the island’s famous uniforms designer Jasper Huang who is known for using Eastern fashion printing in his designs.
The uniform incorporated the red, blue and white colours of the Chinese Taipei flag, with a distinctive Formosan black bear motif. This bear, which is endemic to the region, was also the 2017 Universiade mascot.
This lovable bear went by the name Bravo. The Formosan black bear is currently endangered and Taipei 2017 officials used the FISU event as a way to raise awareness about sustainability, environmental protection and ecology.
Taipei City sits at the heart of the Asia-Pacific region
Located in the northern part of Chinese Taipei in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, Taipei is a vibrant and strategically important economic and cultural centre. The city encompasses a total area of 272 square kilometres and has a population of 2.63 million people. It is well served by international and domestic transportation links, also renowned for its warm hospitality and an abundance of natural and cultural offerings. This metropolis has also been praised for its ability to innovate, leverage resources and catalyse new projects.
Taipei boasts a plenitude of recreational venues and performance organisations, offering a corresponding wealth of cultural events, more than anywhere else on the island of Taiwan. Countless musical, theatre, and dance performances take place each year in the city – a veritable feast of culture for Taipei’s people. The National Palace Museum and the National Museum of History frequently have world-class art exhibitions which draw throngs of people to check out incredible works of art.
This city also offers a wide range of other diversions – shopping malls, nightclubs, live-music bars, quality hotels and exotic restaurants. With the wealth of interesting and fun activities available in Taipei, and its warm hospitality, visitors are certain to have an unforgettable experience.
Taipei is an ideal city for ensuring great success of any international athletic competition, and a place that takes pride in their state-of-the-art sports facilities and advanced IT infrastructure. The Summer Universiade wasn’t the city’s first touch with hosting a major international sports event, it was just the biggest event to come to the island. In addition to Taipei 2017, the city organised and hosted large-scale international events such as the 2009 Deaflympics, the 2010 International Flora Exposition and the 2011 International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress.
The success of these events demonstrated to FISU the city’s ability to host a successful Summer Universiade. Attributed the organising right of the 2017 Summer Universiade in November 2011, Taipei prepared nearly every aspect for 272 medal events in 22 sports across more than 70 venues. With the full support of the central government, as well as close cooperation with the concerned national sports federation and the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation, Taipei showed the world it was ready to host the most unique event in the world of international sport.