Trentino – Italy, Dec 12, 2013: Tradition and innovation were at the heart of the Opening Ceremony being held on December 11th at 6pm at Piazza Duomo and which officially opened the 26th Winter Universiade 2013. Over 3,000 athletes from 61 countries attended an amazing show which was mixing past and present and paid tribute to the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi through a choir of 50 youngsters from Trentino singing Aida.
The torch set on the top of Torre Civica was lighted through an innovative LED system – making it the first eco-friendly torch in history. Trento also celebrates the 450th anniversary of the closure of the Council of Trent, a key historical event for the Catholic Church. The choreograph of “La Fenice” theatre of Venice, Klaus Obermaier, was the artistic director behind the amazing projection and music performances, following an agreement between the University of Trento and the University of Venice. The Italian national flag made its entrance, with the Aida music resonating in honour of the 200th anniversary Giuseppe Verdi, then started the parade of the delegations coming from all over the world.
Everyone listened to a series of official speeches – from the President of the Organizing Committee Sergio Anesi, the President of the Autonomous Province of Trento Ugo Rossi, and FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien, who officially opened this Winter Universiade’s edition, before Deborah Sighel from the Italian Speed Skating team and Guglielmo Bosca recited the oaths of athletes and referees.
“By embracing the invitation from the FISU to organize this Winter Universiade’s edition at the place of another country – said Anesi – the organizing committee took up a great challenge. We had only one year, but we could rely on two features that have converted Trentino into the Italian province the keenest on sport: the numerous sports facilities and, above all, the big organizing capacity of the different local committees and the thousands of volunteers.”
Ugo Rossi added: “We can be ready to experience this fascinating event thanks to other strong points like the human factor (energy, competences and enthusiasm), facilities like our headquarters Sanbapolis, and the cosiest secret of Trentino: our special autonomy that teaches us the meaning of responsibility.”
Before declaring the official opening of the 26th Winter Universiade Trentino 2013, FISU President Gallien explained the slogan “Inspired by U”. “You are students, athletes, volunteers, coaches, referees, spectators. You are professors, researchers and students of the innovative University of Trento. You are the people of the Autonomous Province of Trento who have worked hard to turn this event into an unforgettable moment.”
Then came the key moment of the ceremony: the procession of the Gentian of the Alps held by the Olympic champions Franco Nones, Giorgio Vanzetta, Matteo Anesi and Cristian Zorzi, as well as the ski champions Igor Cigolla and Gianluca Grigoletto.
After the long Torch Relay which begun in Rome on November 6th – when Pope Franciscus I lit the Gentian, the six champions from Trentino marched together and composed a triangle at the bottom of Torre Civica. There, the Olympic champion Franco Nones lighted the tripod: the light reached the top of the tower and “inflamed” the first LED zero-emission cauldron ever seen, highlighting the event’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Modernity meets the past, innovation meets tradition, the young athletes of the Universiade meet the history of Trentino, now up to them ready to write a new chapter. —- Picture © Daniele Mosna
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