Goodbye Shenzhen, Hello Kazan
SHENZHEN, August 24, 2011 - The Closing Ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China was held at the theme park 'Window of the World', breaking with the tradition of staging the ceremony in an grand sport stadium.
We end the games by starting with something anew', FISU President Gallien had announced at the final FISU Press Conference in the MMC yesterday. 'We're curious for the result.' And the result was indeed magic.
It was the Local Organizing Committee's idea to propose something different with a carnival for the young people of the world in mind.
Besides a main venue, five sub-venues within the theme park were used for the carnival, and athletes from the five continents participated in interactive activities, enjoyed Chinese traditional performances and local specialties.
The ceremony at the main venue, the World Square, was scheduled for a 90 minutes spectacular. After times of competition, now it was the moment to celebrate victory, participation and above all youth. In his closing speech new elected FISU President Gallien lauded the Shenzhen citizens, volunteers and participating athletes. 'China opened its doors to the whole world! We have been offered a beautiful performance coupling modernity with rich and original traditions', Mr. Gallien exclaimed.
'Now that we're coming to the end of the Universiade, the doors will stay open in Shenzhen, in China. The flame will not fade away and is passed on to Kazan', the FISU President continued.
'The hearth of youth, the hearth of FISU is beating and beating and beating in unison for stability, sustainability, wealth and peace in a better world', Mr. Gallien ended his speech.
Notwithstanding the different format of the closing, the FISU protocol was respected. The Universiade flame was extinguished and Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin returned the FISU flag to FISU President Gallien who handed it over to Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, the host city of the 27th Summer Universiade in 2013. Mayor Metshin then handed the FISU flag over to the 1st Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr. Igor Shuvalov, who passed the flag to Oleg Matytsin, FISU 1st Vice-President and President of the Russian University Sport Federation. In his speech Mr. Shuvalov congratulated the Shenzhen organizers for the successful Games and welcomed the FISU Family to Kazan.
Mrs. Liu Yandong, State Councilor and highest authority present at the Closing Ceremony officially closed the 26th Summer Universiade. 'The Shenzhen Universiade has made a difference', she said. 'The Summer Universiade has given Shenzhen, a young city, a chance to gain international recognition. I am confident that the friendly people of Shenzhen will leave a lasting impression in everyone's memory.'
Rendez-vous for the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia in 2013!