Delegation in Brussels for decision on Universiade
STAKING A CLAIM:A 40-person delegation is in Belgium to coordinate the bid to host the games, which includes SAC Minister Tai Hsia-ling and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin
By Shelley Shan / Staff Reporter
Taiwan is competing with Brazil to host the 2017 Summer Universiade, with the result expected to be announced this week in Brussels.
The two cities in contention, Taipei and Brasilia, will both be asked to provide a 90-minute presentation before the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Executive Committee makes its final decision at 7pm Central European Time tomorrow.
The presentation will mark the nation’s third bid to host the Summer Universiade. The first unsuccessful bid was launched by Kaohsiung in 2007 to host this year’s event. It lost to Shenzhen, China.
The second failed bid was made in 2009, when Taipei sought to host the 2015 Summer Universiade, which will be held in Gwangju City, South Korea.
To win the right to host the high-profile event, Taiwan dispatched a 40-person delegation to Belgium to coordinate the bid. The delegates include officials from the Sports Affairs Council (SAC), the Taipei City Government and the Ministry of Education.
Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) and Taipei City Deputy Mayor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇) arrived in Brussels on Saturday and began preparatory work at the venue where the final decision will be announced.
Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and the rest of the delegates left for Brussels yesterday.
Izmit in Turkey had previously expressed interest in the 2017 bid, but withdrew because of financial issues.
Members of the FISU Executive Committee visited Taipei last month to determine whether the city was fully prepared to host such a large-scale sports competition.
The delegation met President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who both agreed to give their full support if such an event is to be held in Taiwan.
Marc Vandenplas, a FISU executive, said on Friday that he was impressed by Taiwan’s preparations.
The plan presented by the Taipei City Government is complete and solid, Vandenplas said.
Taipei has some advantages, such as a comprehensive medical system and the fact that the main venue designated for the 2017 Universiade is in the downtown area, he said.
This meets the Universiade’s goal of integrating with the host city, he said, adding that his visit to Taiwan last month — his first visit — helped him gain a better understanding of the city.
Over the weekend, Hau said Taipei was ready for the 2017 World University Games after hosting the Deaflympics in 2009 and the Taipei International Flora Expo last year.
The city government said that the soon-to-be-constructed Taipei Dome sports stadium was a big advantage, as it is located at the center of the city, making its easier for athletes and staff to get around.
Another advantage is that the city already has most of the infrastructure required to host the event, with only about 15 percent of the necessary facilities still to be built.
In addition to the World University Games, Taipei is also bidding to host the 2019 Asian Games. For both sports events, the city plans to invest a total of NT$96.5 billion (US$3.17 billion), which accounts for half of the city’s annual budget.
Additional reporting by CNA, in Brussels
Taipei wins bid to host 2017 Summer Universiade (update)
Brussels, Nov. 29 (CNA) Taipei has won the rights to host the 2017 Summer Universiade, beating Brazil's capital Brasilia, the games committee announced Tuesday.
"On behalf of the whole delegation and all the citizens of Taipei, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the FISU (International University Sports Federation) for choosing Taipei as the host city for 2017 Summer Universiade," said Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who is heading a delegation to Brussels for Taipei's bid.
"There's an old saying, 'Where there is a will, there is a way.' This is the fifth time we've taken part in the bidding," he added. " And finally, we made it."
Taiwan's second-largest city Kaohsiung has made three unsuccessful bids, the last in 2007 for the 2011 games, and Taipei in 2009 bid unsuccessfully for the rights to the 2015 Summer Universiade.
Launched in the Italian city of Turin in 1959, the Universiade is a biennial sports event for university athletes from more than 130 countries.
At the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, Taiwan won 32 medals -- seven gold, nine silver, and 16 bronze. (By Alex Jiang and James Lee) ENDITEM