Taipei vies for World Capital of Sport designation

Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 10

Taipei is vying to become next year’s world sporting capital, with the aim of helping the city gain more international exposure, a sports official said on Friday.

Sports play a significant role in international relations, Taipei Department of Sports Commissioner Li Tzai-li told a news conference, adding that with the recognition, he hopes more people will learn about Taipei as an international sporting city.

The city is competing with Abu Dhabi for the “World Capital of Sport 2019” title, which is awarded by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe).

This year is the first year the federation had expanded its awards outside of Europe.

Taipei on Jan. 31 presented its candidacy to the federation, and on Wednesday, a five-member delegation from ACES arrived in Taiwan to evaluate the city.

Aspects such as sports infrastructure, the organization of domestic and international competitions, citizens’ health and sports participation, the existence of athletic organizations, and general urban characteristics are to be evaluated, the federation said.

Becoming a world sporting capital raises a city’s international visibility, ACES Europe general secretary Hugo Alonso said.

Taipei has hosted several notable international sporting events such as the Summer Deaflympics in 2009 and the Taipei Universiade last year, which welcomed more than 7,000 athletes from around the world competing in a multi-event competition for university students.

After Taipei, the delegation is to head to Abu Dhabi for another evaluation before declaring the winner by the end of next month.