The Taipei City Government yesterday announced that top-ranked female golfer Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) will be a spokesperson for the 2017 Summer Universiade as the city increases its investments to host the international sports event.
Tseng and Chang Yu-han (張宇涵), the Most Valuable Player in Taiwan’s Women’s Super Basketball League, jointly touted the nation’s efforts to create a better environment for athletes in a promotional video shot in Florida.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday thanked Tseng and Chang for their support and said the city government would increase its promotional efforts to attract local and foreign athletes.
“Tseng is a great gofer and the pride of Taiwan. Chang is a promising young athlete with great potential. Their support for the event will inspire more young athletes in Taiwan to become world-renowned athletes,” he said at Taipei City Hall.
Tseng, who is in South Korea for a golf tournament, said via a video clip that she would help the city government promote the event, so that more Taiwanese athletes can be introduced to the world.
“I am honored to serve as a spokesperson for the Summer Universiade. There are many great athletes in Taiwan, and this event will provide a great opportunity for them to shine on the international stage,” she said.
The promotional video will be broadcast next month. Hau said the city government is inviting more Taiwanese athletes, including NBA star Jeremy Lin (林書豪), who is of Taiwanese descent, to promote the sports event.
Taipei beat Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, in December to secure the right to host the 2017 Summer Universiade.
The Games will be the largest international event hosted by Taipei since the Summer Deaflympics in 2009 and the Taipei International Flora Expo in 2010.
However, the budget listed for the event, which is about NT$42.5 billion (US$1.4 billion), has come under continued criticism as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors accused the city government of wasting money on the event.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Chiang Chi-ming (江志銘) yesterday cited information from Taipei City’s Department of Sports, saying the event’s organizing committee is to budget NT$45 million next year to recruit 30 staff for the event, and urged the city government to provide a detailed explanation on the breakdown of costs.
“The city government upgraded the status of the Sports Department earlier this year and allocated a bigger budget and greater manpower to host the event, and now it is wasting more money hiring people. What’s the point of the status upgrade of the department?” he asked.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) said the budget for the Summer Universiade is three times that of the Taipei International Flora Expo and the city government has so far failed to explain why such a large budget is needed. The DPP caucus said it will examine the budget carefully and urged the city government to present a solid report on budget planning for the event.