Sports / Events

The Reporter Diaries #3: Life Inside the Athlete Village

What is it like to visit a village brimming with athletes from around the globe?

It’s a wave of colour, energy and enthusiasm. National flags hang from 34 tall buildings in this years Athlete Village, located in in Linkou District, New Taipei City.

This home-away-from-home for over 7,000 athletes, coaches and support staff features a range of different facilities and services. Organised in to three zones, International, Residential and Transportation, the Taipei Village has a unique layout.

One Canadian Athletics coach I met in the Village said of his experiences in the village so far,

“This is my 5th FISU Games, so I’ve seen a lot of them. There’s a lot of things I like about this one, I think the village seems a little more compact than Gwangju, a little less spread out, so I think it’s a little more intimate as a village”.

“It’s nice to be right down town”.

From a modern gym, to leisure centres, prayer rooms catering to different religions and pockets of educational activities, the Athlete Village is a fascinating place to experience first-hand.

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Inside the Religious Centre in the Residential Zone

Having experienced two former Games myself, walking through the village with a new perspective fuelled a hunger to discover what this year’s Universiade was like for some of the athletes.

I plucked up the courage to sit with a few new faces in the food court to chat about their experiences at the Games so far.

Eva, Patricija and Anja are all first-timers to multi-sport events. Eva, who will compete in the 800m, Patricija in the 1500 and Anja, a member of the 400m relay, are track and field athletes from Slovenia. With the Athletics competition starting on the 23rd of August, the three athletes will have to suppress their excitement for a few more days before taking to the track.

When asked about their experiences so far, Eva says, “it’s amazing to see all the athletes together in the village. You can hang out with people from all over the world and see how they train”

While the competition will offer the athletes a chance to excel physically, it is also a perfect opportunity to observe and learn.

“In my opinion, it’s very interesting to see how other athletes train here” Says Eva

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Eva, Patricija and Anja in the food court on Sunday the 20th of August – three days before Athletics begins at the 29th Summer Universiade

 

When talking with athletes, there is almost always one thing that will evoke excitement, and that’s food.

For those who have never experienced an athlete village, eating is primarily done in a centralised location, known as the food hall.

“It’s so big!” Says Eva.

“There is so much option and it’s very good”

I asked Eva about the food, and whether she chose to eat similar foods to those back home in Slovenia, or try to be adventurous.

“I try different foods, I really like to taste. Especially typical Taipei food, I love it!”

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The sign says it all “Kingdom of Food”. Taiwanese culture has an affinity for food and flavour.

In addition to the culinary delights, an aspect of Taiwanese culture that is incredibly important to the food loving people, Eva says

“And I love Taipei people because they are so nice and have so much positive energy. The energy is everywhere.”

“Yesterday when we were at the Opening Ceremony we saw the crowd cheering for us and they are really, how do I explain it, enthusiastic!”

The Athlete Village brings together a vast array of cultures, talents and languages. I felt very fortunate to have an opportunity to listen to the excitement and feel the enthusiasm of these three athletes.

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My plate at lunch, a blend of the familiar and exotic

Laura Quilter (NZL), FISU Young Reporter

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Eva, Patricija and Anja in the food court on Sunday the 20th of August – three days before Athletics begins at the 29th Summer Universiade

 

While the competition will offer the athletes a chance to excel physically, it is also a perfect opportunity to observe and learn.

 

“In my opinion, it’s very interesting to see how other athletes train here” Says Eva

 

When talking with athletes, there is almost always one thing that will evoke excitement, and that’s food.

For those who have never experienced an athlete village, eating is primarily done in a centralised location, known as the food hall.

“It’s so big!” Says Eva.

“There is so much option and it’s very good”

I asked Eva about the food, and whether she chose to eat similar foods to those back home in Slovenia, or try to be adventurous.

“I try different foods, I really like to taste. Especially typical Taipei food, I love it!”

In addition to the culinary delights, an aspect of Taiwanese culture that is incredibly important to the food loving people, Eva says

“And I love Taipei people because they are so nice and have so much positive energy. The energy is everywhere.”

“Yesterday when we were at the Opening Ceremony we saw the crowd cheering for us and they are really, how do I explain it, enthusiastic!”

The Athlete Village brings together a vast array of cultures, talents and languages. I felt very fortunate to have an opportunity to listen to the excitement and feel the enthusiasm of these three athletes.

 

Laura Quilter (NZL), FISU Young Reporter

 

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