The mayors of Taipei and New Taipei City on Thursday signed a contract to host the 2025 World Masters Games, an international sporting competition for athletes aged 30 or older.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) formalized the agreement in a video call with Kai Holm and Jens Holm, president and chief executive officer respectively of the International Masters Games Association, which organizes the event.
The Games, which are held every four years, involve a wide range of sports, with athletes competing as individuals rather than in national teams.
Taipei and New Taipei City were confirmed as the hosts in October, edging out Paris and the Australian city of Perth to host the Games’ 2025 edition, which is scheduled for May 17 to May 30.
In a pre-recorded video message played at the contract signing, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that Taiwan aims to host the most successful edition of the Games ever and would do its utmost to realize the ideal of “Sports for All.”
The nation would build on its experience hosting international sporting competitions, including the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung and the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade, Tsai said, adding that the entire country would support the host cities.
When Taipei and New Taipei City announced the hosting rights, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) said that about 48,000 athletes and their families from 110 countries are expected to visit Taiwan for the Games, which features 32 sports.
It is estimated that the Games will cost about NT$1.6 billion (US$56.3 million), he said at the time.
The Games are expected to bring in NT$10 billion in tourism revenue, said Li Tzai-li (李再立), head of the Taipei Sports Department.
The World Masters Games, launched in 1985 in Toronto, are usually held the year after the Olympics.
The previous edition was in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2017, while the next is to be hosted in Japan’s Kansai region in 2022, one year after originally scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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