The main venue for the 21st Summer Deaflympics, the Taipei Track and Field Stadium, was formally launched yesterday as Taipei prepares to welcome an estimated 4,000 athletes from more than 80 countries in September.
The stadium on Dunhua N Road used to be known as Taipei City Gymnastics Stadium. The city government spent NT$3 billion (US$91 million) to transform the 50-year-old center into the main venue for the international sports event.
It is the second class-one track-and-field ground certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) besides the main stadium for the 8th World Games in Kaohsiung City.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) presided over yesterday’s inauguration and said the venue had nurtured many outstanding athletes, such as Olympics medallist Chi Cheng (紀政) and Yang Chuan-kuang (楊傳廣), known as the “Iron Man of Asia,” and he expected the renovated stadium to cultivate more athletes.
“The stadium is equipped with certified facilities and will serve as a crucial base for many more international sports events besides the Deaflympics,” Hau said.
The city will host an international track and field meet today and tomorrow at the stadium with about 250 athletes from 12 nations.
The Deaflympics will be held between Sept. 5 and Sept. 15, with most events being held in Taipei City and Taipei County, while swimming events will be held in Hsinchu County and shooting events in Taoyuan County.