Taipei Universiade: Athletes’ Village in Linkou opened with visit from Ko

‘WE ARE TAIWAN’::When asked about him having said ‘Taiwan’ rather than ‘Chinese Taipei’ in a speech, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je responded: ‘Otherwise, who are we?’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Aug 13, 2017 - Page 3

The Summer Universiade Athletes’ Village in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) was officially opened yesterday.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), International University Sports Federation president Oleg Matytsin, Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee chief executive officer Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊) and Athletes’ Village director Chiang Han-sun (江漢聲) attended the opening ceremony yesterday afternoon.

“Taipei is now ready to welcome the world with the best of our hospitality,” Ko said in his speech.

The village includes 34 buildings, each 12 stories to 21 stories high. Athletes’ accommodation ranging from one to four-bedroom units occupies 23 of the buildings, each of which has a rest area, a service counter and a medical room.

The village has a cafeteria that can seat up to 3,500 people, is to run 20 hours per day and should serve an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 meals daily featuring different cuisines from around the world.

Commercial services, such as dry cleaners, beauty salons, flower shops, banks, a post office and an official souvenir shop are also included.

A central security command center has been set up in the village and more than 500 officers have been stationed there, Taipei Special Police Corps deputy chief Lin Chun-yi (林浚奕) said, adding that they are to conduct patrols around the clock to keep the athletes safe.

A 3m-high fence around the perimeter of the village is to channel all people entering and leaving the area through restricted checkpoints at designated entrances, Lin said.

To enter the village, athletes must wear their identification badges, which are to be checked by card readers, he said, adding that their belongings are to also be checked by an X-ray machine.

Athletes must also pass through a metal detector door and may be scanned with a handheld metal detector if necessary, Lin said.

Any cars entering the village are to be checked with metal detectors and under-vehicle explosive scanners, he added.

During Ko’s visit, he lay down on a bed in a three-bedroom unit to test its comfort level, drank a cup of bubble milk tea and ate a few Taiwanese snacks from the cafeteria.

The bedroom unit was nice, especially the air-conditioning, Ko said, adding that he thinks the scale and quality of the village, especially the cafeteria, were better than the village in South Korea’s Gwangju he had visited.

Responding to questions about not being able to play the national anthem or raise the national flag during the opening ceremony, he said: “The city government has done the best it could, but the [Chinese Taipei Universiade] flag and the [national flag] anthem were registered with the application to hold the games.”

The city government must conform to the Agreement Between the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Taipei, Ko said.

Responding to questions about why he said “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei” in his opening speech yesterday, Ko said: “We are Taiwan. Otherwise, who are we?”

The Summer Universiade is to be held from Saturday to Aug. 30. More than 7,639 athletes are expected to compete.

Additional reporting by CNA