Flag of the International University Sports Federation is escorted during the opening ceremony of the 30th Universiade in Naples, Italy, July 3, 2019. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
NAPLES, Italy, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The 30th summer Universiade Napoli 2019 openeed here on Thursday with more than 30.000 spectators gathering in San Paolo Stadium for the opening ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony was designed by Balich Worldwide Shows, whose creative team has worked on more than 20 Olympic Ceremonies, from Turin 2006 to Rio 2016, the Tree of Life at Milan's Expo 2015 and the first permanent show in Italy, "Giudizio Universale".
Napoli 2019 is the 11th Universiade edition to be hosted by Italy. The first one was held in Turin in 60-year-ago 1959.
The "U" of the Universiade logo inside the stadium represents a big hug, with two huge arms stretching towards nearly 6,000 student-athletes from 118 countries and regions, who are set to compete here in the southern Italian coastal city of Naples.
The ceremony started with Siren Parthenope parading on a float through the blue waves. Carrying the famous number 10 football shirt of Argentina's soccer legend Diego Maradona, the athletes from Argentina were warmly welcomed as they walked in. The Chinese delegation entered the stadium with about 200 student athletes who will compete in 144 events in 14 sports.
FISU President Oleg Matytsin said to the athletes and spectators. "All of our journeys have connected with the history of Universiade sport. It was here in Italy that the Universiade started 60 years ago. From here, our movement has spread all around the world, and now we return stronger than ever."
"Not all of you will finish with a medal, but the biggest victory will be the chance to leave Napoli as a better person. Look beyond the competitions and you will find wonderful life lessons. Learn from all of this and you will become one of the leaders our planet needs." he added.
The Universiade, staged every two years, is a multi-sport event addressed to university students from all over the world. For relevance and number of participants, Summer Universiade is just second to Olympic Games. This event, over the years, acquired the distinguished features of an international sport and cultural festival. The word "Universiade" is the combination of the Italian words "Universita" and "Olimpiade", thus embodying one of the most relevant concepts of sport: universality.