Wow, what an amazing event. The games are the largest sporting event ever hosted in Taiwan and they certainly kicked it off in Olympic style. The sold out Taipei Stadium is a 23,000 seat venue and was walking distance from our hotel.
After navigating through the crowds to find will call we found our seats and we’re thrilled to find a present at our seats.
Inside was a bottle of water, cookie, flags, postcards and a program. The atmosphere was truly electric and we were surrounded by parents and fans from all over the world. Though, as a westerner we stand out and we find ourselves looking for others or anyone that we can communicate with. On the street we saw a couple go by and MaryEllen yells out “Hey, English speaking people! Can you help us with directions?”
The flag was raised, anthems song accompanied by the Taipei orchestra. The venue erupted with the first march of the athletes
Just before Canada was to be announced we received a txt from Chris saying that there is a riot outside and they are not going to let the rest of the athletes march. We looked up and all we saw were flags coming in.
There was a protest going outside and the decision was made not to put the athletes in any danger. We were so sad and upset but grateful for the care they had for our boys and girls. Less then 15 minutes later we got another txt saying they are going to let them march.
And to see a birds eye view from the athletes perspective they captured the moment. Guess who was front and center. Take a look at this video:
Our Chris is the one yelling “Whoo”!
“Sometimes the best things are worth waiting for,” FISU president Oleg Matytsin said in his official speech. “No one can stop our students.”
The show told the story of how the island of Taipei was formed through its ancient history and up to modern day-all through song and dance. One of the highlights was when a Taiwanese professional baseball player Chen Chin-feng (陳金鋒) lit the Universiade flame. The games have officially begun. Go USA!