Embracing FISU’s motto of “Excellence in Mind and Body,” the Universiade draws thousands of student-athletes from around the world every two years for summer and winter editions of the event. The Universiade is the largest multi-sport event in the world apart from the Olympic Games.
The Universiade’s roots go back to the start of the twentieth century as host cities welcomed students-athletes who celebrate the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship in a competitive environment. Today the Universiade has grown into an international and cultural event second only to the Olympic Games in size and stature.
The Summer Universiade takes place over 12 days and consists of 14 compulsory sports. To keep both the event programme at the forefront of sport innovation and embrace the host country’s sporting legacy, organisers can add up to three optional sports to their Universiade.
At the 2015 Summer Universiade 10,822 athletes from 142 countries competed in Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
The Winter Universiade incorporates education and cultural aspects into an 11-day competition sport programme. The Winter Universiade includes eight compulsory sports and up to three optional sports chosen by host country. At the 2017 Winter Universiade, 1,605 athletes from 56 countries competed in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 2019 host of the Winter Universiade is Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation.
What’s to Come at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade
Preparations for Taipei’s coming-out party as host to high-profile, world-class events has been years in the making. As the capital city of Chinese Taipei, organisers and city planners see the Universiade as much more than an international sporting event.
When athletes from around the world walk into Taipei Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the Universiade, the stage looks set for this to be a city-transforming social movement. Since winning the right to host the event, Taipei’s commitment to urban revitalization and public participation has only grown. Taipei looks ready to shine on the world stage.
The Taipei Summer Universiade will take place from 19 August to 30 August.
Lighting the Eternal Universiade Flame
But the revelry kicks off well before athletes from around the world march into Taipei Stadium. The flame that will light the cauldron and mark the opening of the Universiade will be lit on June 20 in Italian city Torino, which hosted the inaugural edition of the Summer Universiade in 1959.The flame will be carried through the streets of previous Universiade hosts before arriving on 5 July in Chinese Taipei to begin the torch relay through the host nation.
The Torch, safety lantern and Torchbearers’ uniforms were unveiled during a ceremony in Taipei in the spring 2017.
The lucky torchbearers who will carry the flame from the streets of Torino to Taipei Stadium to officially open the Universiade came from the mind of Chinese Taipei uniforms designer Jasper Huang who is known for using Eastern fashion printing in his designs.
The uniform incorporates 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, is also the 2017 Universiade mascot. The bear is assured to be the people’s choice — as it was chosen via an online voting process by local residents.