Despite light rain, thousands of people yesterday morning gathered in downtown Taipei to watch the National Day Parade, which showcased the nation’s medal-winning athletes in this year’s Asian Games in Indonesia, as well as various other floats.
It was one of several parades and events held around the nation, including in Taichung and Kaohsiung.
The nation won 17 gold medals, 19 silver and 31 bronze at the Asian Games this year, which was the nation’s second-best performance after the 1998 Asian Games in Thailand.
Photo copied by Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
Approximately 60 athletes, coaches, trainers and chefs stood on the back of hummers and an open-top bus as they were cheered by the crowds on both sides of the parade route, which went from Xiaonamen (小南門) to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall via Ximending (西門町), Hengyang Road, Xiangyang Road, Guanqian Road, Zhongxiao W Road and Zhongshan S Road.
The highlight occurred when the parade reached Guanqian Road, where the athletes were greeted with loud cheers, confetti and ribbons.
Chou Tien-chen (周天成), who won a silver medal in the men’s badminton singles and is also known as the nation’s “Prince of Badminton,” was the only athlete with celebrity status to take part in the parade.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎), the world No.1 in women’s badminton, weight lifter Kuo Hsing-chung (郭婞淳), and the nation’s top sprinters Yang Chun-han (楊俊瀚) and Chen Kuei-ru (陳奎儒), did not attend.
Nevertheless, the crowd cheered for the other Asian Games medalists, including Lin Ying-hsin (林穎欣) in shooting, Pan Yu-ping (潘宇平) in mixed team compound archery, Lee Meng-chu (李孟竹) in roller skating, Su Po-ya (蘇柏雅) in taekwondo, Yang Hsin-lung (楊欣龍) and Lu Yi-zu (陸怡如) in mixed pairs contract bridge, as well as the members of the dragon boat team.
It was the second time the nation’s sports heroes were honored during a parade. The first was held in August last year, when the nation’s athletes secured 26 gold medals, 34 silver and 30 bronze at the Summer Universiade in Taipei.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
In addition to the medal-winning athletes, the parade also featured elaborate floats designed by government agencies, state-affiliated companies and banks, as well as religious groups.
China Airlines’ float was decorated with flowers and highlighted an Airbus A350 aircraft.
The float designed by Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung, on the other hand, attracted people’s attention by having a performer dress as the goddess Matzu and give out small gifts.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Heavy motorcycle teams from the Taipei City Police Department and the Military Police led the way.
The Taipei First Girls’ High School’s honor guards, marching band and standard bearer also helped guide the parade.
The festive events ended with five Mirage 2000 fighters flying over the Presidential Office Building and toward Taipei 101 in formation.
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