Let the games begin

By SHI FUTIAN in Xi'an | China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-15 09:45
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The torch relay for China's 14th National Games has entered its final stage before the cauldron is lit at the newly built Xi'an Olympic Sports Center tonight. XINHUA

Host Shaanxi ready to shine with 'streamlined, safe and splendid' national showpiece

With China's 14th National Games kicking off in Xi'an on Wednesday, host Shaanxi province is ready to deliver on its promise of staging a "streamlined, safe and splendid" showpiece.

Illustrating the enormity of the Games, medals are up for grabs in a total of 595 disciplines across 54 sports-19 of which are open to the public in a bid to boost the national fitness campaign.

The majority of the action is taking place in 13 cities in Shaanxi, although six events which have special requirements, such as surfing, are being staged in seven other provinces.

Some events were completed before the opening ceremony, but this week the Games will still play host to over 12,000 athletes, 6,000 delegation members, 4,200 technical officials, 15,000 volunteers and 1,500 media workers.

"Adhering to the principle of staging a streamlined, safe and splendid National Games, we need to overcome the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the preparation work has gone really smoothly," Gao Zhidan, a deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China, told a news conference in Xi'an on Tuesday.

"The vision of the National Games is people-centered. We hope to showcase the multi-functionality and far-reaching effects of the Games. We also hope the Games can be a platform for the athletes to shine and grow, and this is a platform for us to find the nation's future sports stars.

"The National Games should also meet people's growing sporting needs, and should also help build a healthier China and make the nation a stronger sports powerhouse."

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a major consideration, guaranteeing the safety of all participants is a priority for organizers.

Learning from the experience of the Tokyo Olympics, the National Games' organizing committee has devised and implemented comprehensive epidemic-prevention regulations for athletes, technical officials, delegation members and media, with the goal of "zero infections".

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