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20 June 2017 | in Summer FISU World University Games, FISU

SU 2017 - Torch Ignition in Torino and Start of Relay


TORINO - A return to the roots and a look to the future. A new FISU tradition is bound to be, i.e. the launch of the Summer Universiade and also the Winter Universiade will start in Turin with the ignition of the Universiade Torch in the birthplace of the Universiade. Indeed, the Italian city was the first to organise a Summer Universiade, in 1959, and also let’s not forget it also hosted a Winter Universiade in 2007.
For FISU, the CUSI (Italian NUSF) and the CUS Torino (its antenna in Turin), the symbol is very strong and the ignition of the torch with the Universiade flame is about to become a special moment.

From left to right: Marco Gilli, Rector of the Polytechnic University of Turin, Oleg Matytsin, FISU President and Gianmaria Ajani, Rector of the University of Turin

The 2017 Summer Universiade will be held in Taipei City (TPE) next August, and its organisers have had the privilege of being the first to participate actively in this new ceremony. For them too, it was essential to look to the past to better prepare for the future.

The flame of the Universiade of 2017 was thus lit this day in Turin in a very official ceremony in the presence of FISU President Oleg Matytsin. The ceremony took place in the square in front of the rectorate of the University of Turin and also brought together the authorities of the two cities: Roberto Finardi, Assessor of Sports of Turin and Ko Wenje, Mayor of Taipei and Chair of the Organising Committee of the 2017 Summer Universiade. Also present were the Authorities of the two NUSFs: Chiang Hansun, President of the CTUSF (TPE) and Riccardo D'Elicio was there in his capacity as President of the CUS Torino and also as a member of the CUSI Board. Several persons connected with the University of Turin had also honoured us with their presence.
Indeed, prior to the Ceremony, a meeting was held at the University with the FISU President and the two rectors involved: Mr Gianmaria Ajani (University of Turin) and Mr Marco Gilli (Polytechnic University).

From left to right: Riccardo D'Elicio, President of the CUS Torino, Oleg Matytsin, FISU president, Ko Wen-je, Mayor of Taipei city and Olympic taekwondo champion Chu Mu-yen

The Torch Lighting Ceremony began at the University of Turin's Rectorate. The Organising Committee of the Universiade of 2017 has put in place a superb cultural programme. After the speeches of the officials and the ignition of the flame, the torch relay started. The President of FISU took part in the relay as did the Mayor of Taipei. The first lap of the relay went from the University of Turin to the esplanade of the Polytechnic University of Turin passing through the city and making a stop at the Egyptian Museum.

The ceremony involved lighting the original Turin 1959 torch, which was passed by Professor Gianmaria Ajani, the Rector of the University of Turin, to President Matytsin. Matytstin then passed the flame to a Taipei 2017 torch held by Ko Wen-je, the Mayor of Taipei. Ko began the Taipei 2017 relay by passing the torch to the first runner: Olympic taekwondo champion Chu Mu-yen.

 Torch relay inside the Egyptian Museum

Su Li-chiung, Chief Executive of the Taipei Universiade Organising Committee (TUOC) also attended as did further sporting champions, students.

“Each Universiade is of course a special moment in the life of FISU. And we know our biggest competitions are also very special moments in the lives of the many thousands of students they touch as athletes, as organisers, as volunteers, coaches, officials and fans,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin. “With a vision to shape the leaders of tomorrow through their experiences of international student sport, the Universiades are the most powerful tool at our disposal. And in this regard, I am confident that Taipei 2017 will greatly help FISU achieve its vision.”


 Marco Gilli, Oleg Matytsin and Ko Wen-je on the esplanade of the Polytechnic University of Turin

“The Torch Relay for Taipei 2017 links the past, present and future of the Universiade. As it does so, it is a reminder that we at FISU are stewards of a great tradition that has served countless leaders around the world. “They have all learned from their participation in the Universiades,” continued Matytsin. “Like all rights holders of major international multisport events, FISU is determined - as I am determined - to do everything to make each edition of the Universiade an improvement on the last.  The bar has been set very high by previous hosts of the Universiade. I am very pleased about the support that the TUOC and the Taipei City Government have shown FISU in working to do even better.”

Following the lighting in Turin, the Torch Relay will head to Napoli, host of the 2019 Summer Universiade; Thailand’s Bangkok, host of the 2007 Summer Universiade; and Korea’s Daegu, host of the 2003 Summer Universiade. The domestic leg of the Torch Relay will see the flame visit all of the country’s 22 cities and counties. Future editions of the Torch Relay will feature include stops in all five continents.


Taipei 2017 will involve more than 7,700 student athletes from 153 countries contesting 21 sports at 38 competition venues in Taipei, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, New Taipei City and Taoyuan City.