The Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade Torch was officially lighted in the Italian city of Turin.
The flame is set to burn until August 30, the date of the Universiade’s Closing Ceremony at the Taipei Stadium in Taiwan.
The Italian city was chosen as the venue to mark its role as the host of the first ever Universiade in 1959.
“Each Universiade is of course a special moment in the life of the International University Sports Federation (FISU),” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin.
“We know our biggest competitions are also very special moments in the lives of the many thousands of students they touch as athletes, as organizers, as volunteers, coaches, officials and fans.
“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.
“In this regard, I am confident that Taipei 2017 will greatly help FISU achieve its vision.”
During the ceremony the original Turin 1959 torch was also lit.
It was then passed by Professor Gianmaria Ajani, the rector of the University of Turin, to Matytsin.
He then transferred the flame to the Taipei 2017 Torch, which was held by Ko Wen-je, the Mayor of Taipei.
Ko then handed the Torch to Athens 2004 Olympic taekwondo champion Chu Mu-yen, who ran the first leg of the Relay.
“The Torch Relay for Taipei 2017 links the past, present and future of the Universiade,” added Matytsin.
“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, including Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee.
“They have all learned from their participation in the Universiades.
“Like all rights holders of major international multi-sport 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 Taipei 2017 Organizing Committee and the Taipei City Government have shown FISU in working to do even better.”
Following the ceremony in Turin, the flame will now head to Napoli, the Italian host of the 2019 Summer Universiade.
It will also visit Thai capital Bangkok, host of the 2007 Summer Universiade, and South Korea’s Daegu, host of the 2003 edition, before making its way to Taipei.
The domestic leg of the Torch Relay will see the flame visit all of the country’s 22 cities and counties.
The 2017 Summer Universiade will be the largest international sports showpiece that Taiwan has ever staged.
It will feature 21 sports and be held in venues across Taipei, Keelung, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu.
By Max Winters
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.