The Eighth World Games will officially open in the port city of Kaohsiung on July 16th. Over 11 days of competition, some of the world’s top athletes from 105 countries will compete for glory in 31 different sports. Yet, the 3,236 participating athletes will not merely vie for medals, but will be brought together in an atmosphere of friendly competition.
Since 2002, Kaohsiung has been preparing itself to host the World Games. Ron Froehlich, the president of the International World Games Association, visited Kaohsiung in July 2002 to see what the city could bring to the games. He was clearly impressed and in 2004, Kaohsiung was officially named as the venue for the 2009 games. Soon afterwards, the Kaohsiung Organizing Committee (KOC) was formed to plan and stage the event.
Now is Kaohsiung’s opportunity to shine on the world stage. An opening ceremony in the newly built stadium will kick off the proceedings in true style. Constructed specially for the World Games, the stadium is equipped with the latest environmentally friendly designs. All raw materials used in the construction of the stadium are 100 percent re-usable and made in Taiwan. The open design provides sufficient protection from the elements, but also allows sunlight to illuminate the ground. With a seating capacity of 40,000, the electricity needed to host such an event is generated from 8,844 solar panels, with an output of 1.14 million kWh of electricity, and will annually prevent the release of 660 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When the stadium is not in use, the surplus energy can be sold.
Outside the stadium, visitors and athletes will be able to relax in the World Games Plaza alongside Kaohsiung's famous Love River. The plaza will buzz with seemingly endless choices of entertainment and culinary delights. Visitors from around the world will not only experience local culture and hospitality, but will come together in a celebration of the true spirit of the World Games.
- The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.
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