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​The 31st Summer Edition of the FISU World University Games Solemnly Opens in Chengdu Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony and Declares the Chengdu Universiade Open

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On the evening of July 28, 2023, the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games solemnly opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and declared the Chengdu Universiade open. The sports meet will draw young people from around the world to jointly write a magnificent chapter of youth.

Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and leaders and distinguished guests from around the world were present at the opening ceremony.

Under the night sky, the main stadium in Dong'an Lake Sports Park was aglow with radiant and colorful lights. Before the opening ceremony began, college students from Chengdu presented an energetic artistic performance, creating an enthusiastic atmosphere at the scene.

At 19:58, accompanied by the music of "Peace – a Community with a Shared Future", Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, along with Acting President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Leonz Eder and others, stepped onto the podium and waved to the audience. The audience burst into a prolonged applause.

At the center of the venue were the Golden Sun Birds, the symbol of Chinese cultural heritage, which gracefully rotated with twelve golden rays shining brightly. Fireworks burst into the sky, displaying countdown digits, along with which the audience shouted in unison. With splendid fireworks lighting up the night sky amid cheers, the opening ceremony of the Chengdu Universiade officially began.

Accompanied by the singing of "Our National Flag is So Beautiful" by children from the Daliang Mountains and a chorus of "Ode to the Motherland" by young people from 56 ethnic groups, eight honor guards marched into the venue with firm steps, escorting the national flag of the People's Republic of China. Everyone stood up and sang the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. The five-star red flag rose slowly and fluttered in the wind.

At 20:07, the parade of athletes began. Sports delegations of university students from 113 countries and regions entered the venue in succession along the "Splendid Road" paved with Sichuan embroidery patterns, receiving a warm welcome from the audience. The delegation of China, the host country, entered last, and Xi Jinping stood up and waved to greet them, with the whole audience erupting in cheers and applause. The Chinese delegation consists of more than 700 members, including 411 athletes who will participate in all 18 events of the Chengdu Universiade.

President of the Organizing Committee of the Chengdu Universiade Huai Jinpeng delivered a speech, welcoming athletes, coaches, technical officials, and guests from all over the world on behalf of the committee. He expressed the wish that they will promote the spirit of sports, display youthful vitality, and forge solidarity and friendship.

In his speech, FISU Acting President Leonz Eder expressed heartfelt thanks to the Chinese government, Sichuan Province, Chengdu City, and all participants for jointly creating a sports event living up to expectations. He also sent best wishes to all athletes.

At 21:16, the opening ceremony witnessed an exciting moment. President Xi Jinping declared the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games in Chengdu open! The whole venue erupted with cheers, and splendid fireworks burst into the sky, displaying the character "welcome" in Chinese and English.

Eight outstanding young athletes and volunteer representatives from China carried the FISU flag into the stadium. Accompanied by the FISU anthem, the flag rose slowly, flying high together with the five-star red flag.

Athlete Tang Ziting and referee Liu Jiang respectively took the oath on behalf of all the participating athletes and technical officials.

Later on, the gala performance of "Young Dream Chasers" was unveiled through three segments of "Pursuit of Light", "Passion of Sports" and "Celebration of Friendship". With scenes of vigorous climbing upwards, "Pursuit of Light" showcased the young people's eternal pursuit of light. "Passion of Sports" presented scenes of young university students running hard and full of vitality, expressing the joy and passion brought by sports. In the chapter "Celebration of Friendship", young university students and the adorable "Friendship Ambassador Panda" danced to cheerful music, harvesting friendship in the gathering of youth.

At 21:40, the ceremony of lighting the main cauldron began. Over the past month, the Universiade flame taken from Turin, Italy was relayed at multiple universities in Beijing, Harbin, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Yibin and Chengdu, before finally arriving at the main stadium in Dong'an Lake Sports Park.

At the center of the venue, the cauldron decorated with Golden Sun Bird patterns rose slowly. Thirty-one torchbearers, including taikonaut Ye Guangfu, entered the venue, holding high torches. With an audience of tens of thousands looking on, the torchbearers ran to the cauldron, surrounded it in a circle, and ignited the Golden Sun Birds with their torches. In an instant, the Universiade flame burned brightly, conveying the beautiful wishes that university students around the world will be as brilliant as sunshine.

"Light up the world and hear life singing the song", "Brighten the path to a beautiful future"… Young college students gathered under the flame and sang the theme song of the opening ceremony "Make Dreams Come True", turning the whole stadium into a joyful ocean.

International distinguished guests attending the opening ceremony included President Joko Widodo of Indonesia and his wife Ibu Iriana Jokowi, President Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani of Mauritania, President Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili of Georgia.

Wang Yi, Li Ganjie, Wang Xiaohong, and Shen Yiqin were present at the opening ceremony.

The main members of the FISU Executive Committee were also present at the opening ceremony.