Gwangju, Korea July 14, 2015: With a bright and vivid Closing Ceremony the 28th Summer Universiade came to an end on Tuesday night July 14th at Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium. The two-hour event was put together by directors Myungsung Park and Taewook Kim. It connected the official part including the lowering and hand over of the FISU flag and the extinguishment of the flame with cultural performances of the former and future host cities. These elements were put together with the appropriate theme of ‘Sharing the Light’ for the Festival of Nanjang.
The ceremony began with the March Pass of the participating nations who gathered around the star-shaped stage. The cultural part of the ceremony represented the Korean heritage and embraced the legacy of youth. In the first performance named ‘Spreading the Wings of Light’ the youths came together in Gwangju to spread their wings of light taking flight into the shining future. In the second performance, ‘Sharing the Light’, the flame connected the athletes’, volunteers’ and audience’s hearts so they could share passion and hope in the world. As a conclusion of the cultural programme, ‘Light: Waves of Youth’, a variety of famous Korean singers took the stage.
FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien held his farewell speech thanking the Organizing Committee and the City of Gwangju for their passion and dedicated work: “A new star is born tonight, the bright star, the silvery Shepherd’s Star, the star of the Gwangju Universiade legend!” Afterwards the Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn closed the Universiade and the FISU flag was handed over the 2017 SU host Taipei City. On behalf of the people of Chinese Taipei, the Mayor of the Taipei City promised to host the best Universiade in FISU’s history.
Looking back at this year’s Summer Universiade several records were broken. Gwangju counted 10,711 participants with 7,374 athletes (4,223 male and 3,151 female) and 3,337 officials (2,619 male and 718 female) representing 137 countries. Of all these athletes the top three medallists were swimmer Shannon Vreeland (USA) with four gold and one bronze, followed by rhythmic gymnast Yeon Jae Son (KOR) who won three gold and two silver and shooter Haoran Yang (CHN) who took home three gold, one silver and one bronze. During the twelve-day competition 33 records were broken, 28 of them Universiade Records, three Final Universiade Records and two World Records. To make all of this possible, over 40,000 staff and volunteers supported the games.
The Closing Ceremony lit up Gwangju and embraced the Korean hospitality. It celebrated strength and perseverance of the youth around the world. The Universiade was the start to a great legacy which is evolving.
Lucie Hrdlickova (CZE), Lizzy Whitbeck (USA), Chidiebere Ezeani (NIG), Dania Abdullah (PAK), Kaixiao Jiang (CHN), Davis Harrigan (AUS), Max Länge (GER), FISU Young Reporters – Photos: C. Pierre, Press Officer. —- FISU