George E. Killian (third from right), FISU president, and Liang Daoxing (fourth from left), vice-mayor of Shenzhen, tour the exhibition area of Shenzhen at the China Millennium Monument in Beijing yesterday. Wu Jun
George E. Killian and his wife received a warm welcome yesterday as they entered the Shenzhen exhibition area of the China Millennium Monument in Beijing .
" I'm deeply impressed with the exhibition. It reinforces my confidence in Shenzhen's able preparations to host the 26th Summer Universiade in 2011," Killian, president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), told reporters.
The southern city of Shenzhen was chosen on January 16, 2007 over other four candidate cities - Kaohsiung in Chinese Taipei, Poznan in Poland, Kazan in Russia and Murcia in Spain - to host the 2011 Summer Universiade.
Shenzhen, youngest host city in the Universiade's history, won the votes of FISU executive committee members with its dynamic economy, comprehensive infrastructure, excellent sports environment and open-minded, well-educated young citizens.
Killian spoke highly of the Shenzhen municipal government's timely promotion of this biannual international multi-sports event for university athletes organized by FISU, in the lead up to the Beijing Olympic Games.
"Holding this exhibition at a time when tens of millions of people are converging on the capital to watch the Olympic Games is a great opportunity for the world to know about Shenzhen and the Universiade," he said.
Having arrived in Beijing with his wife Marilyn on August 5 for the Olympic games, Killian, said his tour of the Shenzhen exhibition was an important item on his agenda during his 16-day trip to the Chinese capital.
The exhibition at the China Millennium was one aspect of Shenzhen's month-long promotion in Beijing of the 2011 Universiade, showcasing its economic and social achievements over the past 28 years, which kicked off on Sunday.
"I have been closely monitoring Shenzhen's promotion of the 2011 Universiade, and as far as I can see, everything is going smoothly and according to plan," Killian told reporters.
Killian was born on April 6, 1924, in Valley Stream New York, United States.
He was president of the FIBA international basketball federation between 1990-1998, and in 1996, in his capacity as president of FIBA, was on the International Olympic Committee.
Killian headed the US delegation to the Universiade on three occasions before being elected FISU president in November 1999 by the Executive Committee.
Killian was elected FISU president for a second term on August 5, 2007 at the 30th FISU General Assembly in Bangkok.
Liang Daoxing, vice-mayor of Shenzhen and chairman of the Executive Office of the Organizing Committee of the 26th Summer Universiade, gave Killian a brief run down on recent developments in preparatory work.
"We have gained the full support of the government and citizens and are focusing the attention of domestic cities and as well as foreign countries on the Shenzhen Universiade," Liang said.
"The Universiade will be a great event in Shenzhen in 2011. It will celebrate the spirit of university sports, and encourage the youth to be healthy, energetic and to enjoy teamwork," Liang said.
Liang showed Killian the 15 candidate designs for the Universiade mascot while accompanying him on his tour of the exhibition venue.
They were selected out of more than 2,000 designs that were sent from around the nation from January 16 to May 20 at the executive office's invitation.
Killian showed particular interest in the U-shaped smiling face design entitled "U U" which he said was a novel idea because it complemented the "Happy U" Universiade Shenzhen logo.
Liang invited Killian to Shenzhen in October this year to announce the winner of the mascot design.
Zhang Xing, a 55-year-old visitor from East China's Jiangxi province who is in Beijing for the Olympics, said that the exhibition had actually informed him that Shenzhen would host the summer Universiade in 2011.
"Shenzhen, where China's reform and opening up started, is a dreamland for many young people. I would like to go there to watch the games with my son, who will be a university student by then," Zhang told China Daily.
(China Daily 08/08/2008 page6)