International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin has praised Taipei 2017’s hospitality as being of a gold medal standard and believes organisers have everything in place for a successful Summer Universiade.
Matytsin was speaking hours before the Opening Ceremony, which is set to take place at the Taipei Stadium.
The Russian was joined by FISU secretary general and chief executive Eric Saintrond, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun and Taipei 2017 chief executive Li-Chiung Su.
Matytsin expressed his confidence in organisers, reserving particular praise for their “gold medal standard” hospitality.
“After nearly six years of working together on preparations for this Universiade, FISU is delighted to be crossing the start line in Taipei.
“Everything is ready for a great festival of sport, education and culture that will change the lives of thousands of young people for the better.
“With the Opening Ceremony just hours away, I can say with confidence everything is ready.
“Here, sporting activities will be combined with culture.
“Athletes will come together at the superb Athletes Village, which has been built.
“Your hospitality is a gold medal standard.
“I would like to thank the Mayor, the organising committee and the university sport federation for their commitment to the event.
“All of us at FISU are very grateful to our hosts.
“The Universiade will be the biggest event ever held in Taipei and we congratulate them on this achievement, they have plenty of reason to be proud.
“With Chinese Taipei as the biggest team here, there should be plenty to cheer for.”
A total of 7,746 athletes from 141 countries are currently registered to compete at the Universiade, across 21 sports.
Saintrond stated that around 300 hours of television production at the Universiade, with FISU having contracts with Eurosport and the Asian Pacific Broadcasting Union.
Further praise was given to the organisers by Matytsin, who claimed the level of engagement among the athletes and local population was high.
“FISU is very proud of the way student athletes have come to Taipei from all around the world, and also the way images of the Universiade will in turn be broadcast globally,” he said.
“Here in the host city, interest in the event is at a high level, thanks to an exciting Torch Relay and innovative advertising and engagement.
“The Ceremonies and some sessions are already sold out.”
Chen thanked FISU for giving Taipei the opportunity to stage the 29th edition of the Summer Universiade, while he praised the public’s response to the increased traffic in the city.
Both Chen and Matytsin exchanged gifts at the conclusion of the press conference.