The motto of this year’s Summer Universiade in Taipei was “For You, For Youth,” but the legacy of the Games for the public is something even bigger — all Taiwanese being young and proud together.
Taiwan won a record 26 golds, 34 silvers and 30 bronzes, and many of the athletes attributed their outstanding performances to the heartfelt support of the public, adding that it was the sense of “defending their home territory” that brought out the best in them.
Weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), who defeated the Olympic champion and lifted 142kg to break a 10-year-old world record for the clean and jerk in the women’s under-58kg class on Monday last week, is one such athlete.
While many of the team were no strangers to competing abroad, Kuo said the greatest advantage competing at home, besides not having to adapt to a different environment and diet, was the luxury of being surrounded by people constantly cheering you on in a familiar language.
“The stadium was full of people cheering so loud and rooting so hard for us,” Kuo said at a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday. “That fills you with power out there.”
The passion toward the Games not only inspired the athletes, but also the spectators, many of whom had never bought tickets for a sports event before.
Kang Mei-li (康美莉), who wore a national flag sticker on her left cheek on Tuesday to root for badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎), was one of them.
“I don’t do much sport myself, but I wanted to come out and support our athletes, especially when it is such a rare occasion for Taiwan to hold a big event like this,” said the 50-year-old, who also traveled from Hsinchu to watch the basketball game between Taiwan and Ukraine in Taipei on Monday.
“It was the only way to get into a game. Most tickets for events in Taipei were sold out,” Kang said.
For many in Taiwan the climax of the athletics events occurred on Saturday last week, when Cheng Chao-tsun (鄭兆村) won the gold medal in the men’s javelin with a new Asian record of 91.36m.
“It was a surprise that Taiwan performed so well in athletics. We also did well in tennis, basketball and weightlifting,” Taipei Universiade organizing committee chief executive Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊) said at the news conference.
In addition to the athletes’ performances that made Taiwanese proud, some think the Universiade itself offered an opportunity for people to come together.
Wu Yi-hsuan (吳奕璇), a Games volunteer, said she felt a sense of belonging throughout the event.
“I felt very moved to see so many people cheering for the same goal — for our athletes to win. I felt that we were united,” Wu said, adding that the Games had received a lot of praise in the global media.
Mexican Jaqueline Moreno, who visited the Universiade at the invitation of Rotary International District 3490 in Taiwan, said she felt the nation did a good job.
“It shows the world you have resources to hold an international event like this,” Moreno said, adding that she was impressed with the facilities and services, such as free Wi-Fi and the metro system.
The Taipei Universiade, the largest international sports event ever hosted in the nation, drew 7,376 athletes from 134 nations, who competed in 271 events in 21 sports.
Germany’s Andreas Hofmann, who won the silver medal in the men’s javelin, said things were very well organized.
“It was very exciting, a very nice experience to be here,” Hofmann said.
Perhaps Su’s comments summarized the experience best of all.
“I believe that the Taipei Universiade has been more than an ordinary event or a sports event. It offered [an opportunity] for people to establish ongoing relationships,” Su said. “I hope this experience will be a memory that is shared by all Taiwanese.”
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
FALSE INFORMATION: The report quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner are ‘in prison-like conditions’ A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. The BBC report published on Wednesday quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner were quarantined on Wednesday last week and are being kept “in prison-like conditions.” “The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes,” the mother was quoted as saying, without naming the location of
ODD TIMING: Taiwan has called Chinese drills around the Taiwan Strait provocative and urged Beijing to focus on combating COVID-19 rather than harass its neighbor China yesterday accused the US of playing a dangerous game with its support for Taiwan, after a US warship passed through Taiwan Strait. China has been angered by the administration of US President Donald Trump stepping up support for the nation, such as through more arms sales, US patrols near Taiwan and last month’s visit to Washington by former premier and vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德). US Seventh Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Anthony Junco said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday, in line with international law. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment