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Taiwan looks to successful Universiade, eyes 2024 Olympics

2012/01/22 12:40:56

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Organizers of the 2017 Summer Universiade have vowed to make the student games successful, as it could be a doorway for Taiwan to host the Olympic games and other prominent events in the future.

Based on "endless hard work as well as experience learned and to be learned from others," Hsu Chuan-hao, leader of the organizing group, told CNA that "Taiwan is ready to face the challenge."

The International University Sports Federation Executive Committee picked Taipei over Brasilia as the host city for the 2017 Summer Universiade -- also known as the World University Games -- which will be the highest-level and biggest international sports event ever staged in Taiwan.

Describing the members of his team as "working their hearts out" since they knew their bid had been successful, Hsu said he almost always works more than 12 hours a day.

"It's tiring physically, but not mentally," Hsu said.

Hsu was on a delegation Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin led to Brussels to make its final pitch last year. He was among those who leaped out of their chairs when the winning bid was announced.

"I was moved to tears," he recalled, saying that seeing his team's hard work pay off was really touching.

However, the excitement was soon replaced with an overwhelming workload.

From assessing and planning facility construction to inspecting and learning from others who have hosted similar events, Hsu tried to get things well-planned ahead of a soon-to-be-formed advisory committee.

The city government will form the advisory committee comprised of 21-35 experts from central and local governments and the sports community to guide the preparations for the event, according to the mayor.

"We've got it all, and what we need to do now is to prove to the world that we are capable," Hsu said.

The success will increase the chances for the country to host other international events, even including the Olympic games, he added.

In late 2011, President Ma Ying-jeou said that the country's next goal is to bid to host the Olympics in 2024.

Taipei's bid for the biennial sports competition last November was its second in recent years. In 2009, the city lost to Gwangju, South Korea in its bid to host the 2015 Summer Universiade.

Taiwan's second-largest city, Kaohsiung had previously made three unsuccessful bids to host the event, the last of which was in 2007 for the 2011 Summer Games.

(By James Lee)