The 2017 Summer Universiade Opening Ceremony: A Spectacle of Culture, Vibrancy and Energy.
Taipei Municipal Stadium– The opening ceremony for the 2017 Summer Universiade will likely be an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.
The ceremony, hosted at the Taipei Municipal Stadium on the 19th of August, had an unexpected start. With local protesters crowding the stadium, athletes were stopped from marching because of safety concerns, the ensuing minutes were riddled with confusion. When the first country reappeared inside the stadium, the crowd responded. An eruption of sound, applause and light flowed in response to the procession of athletes.
At that moment the stadium came alive with excitement. The entertainment was an exceptional blend of culture, modernity and energy. There were three cultural performances in total, Vibrant Island, Hybrid Taipei and Global Tribe.
The first performance, Vibrant Island, depicted the history of Chinese Taipei. From an immense collision of tectonic plates to the richness of culture and celebration of diversity, the performers delighted the audience with acrobatics and music. The opening scene, flooded in iridescent blue, was an invitation to the spectators to join the journey through Chinese Taipei’s rich history. With a burst of red, the performance ignited and the excitement begun.
The second performance, Hybrid Taipei, continued the energy set by the performers in Vibrant Island. The audience was lead on a journey through the contemporary lives of Taipei’s people and set the stadium alight with energy. Dramatic bursts of fireworks lit the sky as thousands of athletes, FISU members, media and public watched on.
The final performance, Global Tribe, represented the unity and connection across national borders. The performance was an electric blend of sound, performers, fireworks and even scooters. Global Tribe demonstrated how music, sports and technology has the ability transcend boundaries and unite diverse people. The music during this performance danced with pace and energy.
There was no better way to end the Ceremony than this; Wang Lee-Hom delighted the audience with a special song, ‘Why Don’t You Just Love Me’, where the audience was invited to sing along.
The evening was a showcase of movement, of embracing emotion and celebrating the freedom of expression.
The final performance was followed by the igniting of the Cauldron, which brought together many of the country’s top athletes. The cauldron was finally lit by Chen Chin-Feng, the first Chinese Taipei player to play in Major League Baseball. Chen batted the torch flame in to the Cauldron where it came to life, igniting an official start to the 29th Summer Universiade.
Despite an unexpected start, the entertainment at the 2017 Summer Universiade Opening Ceremony was an event that will likely stamp a mark in the memories of all who attended.
Laura Quilter (NZL), FISU Young Reporter