Taipei mayor to visit Turin for the Universiade torch lighting ceremony

The flame will land in Taiwan on June 29 and start traveling around the country in July.

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je promotes the Universiade. (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je will light the Universiade flame in a ceremony held in Turin, Italy, June 20, said Liu I-ting, spokesperson for the Taipei City Government.

Ko will start the flame and hand it to a Taiwanese torch bearer after giving a speech at 10 p.m. on June 20 (Taipei time).

After the ceremony, the torch relay will first arrive in Naples, Italy, the host city of the next Universiade in 2019. The flame will then travel to Asia, including Bangkok, Thailand and Daegu, South Korea, respectively the host cities of the Universiade 2007 and 2003.

The torch will land in Taiwan on June 29. Starting from July, the flame will be carried to Yushan, the highest mountain in Taiwan, and passed around cities on the island.

Ko will be traveling with the torch bearers and several officials, including Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊), secretary-general of the city government, Cheng Fang-fan (鄭芳梵), commissioner of the Department of Sports, Chung Yung-feng (鍾永豐), commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the representatives of the Executive Yuan, said Liu. They will return to Taiwan on June 22.

In addition to the torch lighting ceremony, Ko will also visit Turin mayor Chiara Appendino and Italian senators and parliamentarians. 

According to the International University Sports Federation, the organizer of the Universiade, this year’s torch lighting ceremony is to be held in Turin, the host city of the first Universiade in 1959.

There are 10 torch bearers in Taiwan, including six men and four women, selected through a competition in February. Apart from athletic ability, the torch bearers are required to have knowledge of mountaineering as they will be passing by Yushan with the flame.

The opening ceremony of the 19th Universiade will be held on August 19 at the Taipei Stadium.