All eyes in the world of student sport turned to Turin today, as the torch lighting ceremony of the 29th Summer Universiade Taipei 2017 ignited a flame set to burn until 30 August 2017. The Italian city was chosen in recognition of its role as host of the first ever Universiade in 1959. The ceremony was hosted by the University of Turin.

“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.”

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. President Matytsin then passed the flame to a Taipei 2017 torch held by Ko Wen-je, the Mayor of Taipei. Mayor Ko began the Taipei 2017 relay by passing the torch to the first runner: Olympic taekwondo champion Chu Mu-yen.

Su Li-chiung, Chief Executive of the Taipei Universiade Organising Committee (TUOC) also attended as did further sporting champions, students and even one participant from the 1959 Universiade.

“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: from presidents to chief executives, from community organisers to even the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. “They have all learned from their participation in the Universiades,” continued President 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 South 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.

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Contact: Anna Manuelian


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