Argentina athletes carry Taiwan flags at Universiade closing ceremony

Argentine athletes carried Taiwan flags as well as wore wigs with colors of the flag at Taipei Stadium

Argentine athletes carrying Taiwanese flags rush the crowd. (

Argentine athletes carrying Taiwanese flags rush the crowd. (

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- At last night's closing ceremony for the 2017 Taipei Universiade, Argentine athletes boldly carried the official Taiwan flag and wore wigs in the Taiwanese national colors into Taipei Municipal Stadium during the procession of athletes from the 144 countries that participated in the games.

The gesture immediately drew attention from Taiwanese fans and media as throughout the Taipei Universiade the host country was not allowed by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) to fly its national flag, and instead only display the Chinese Taipei flag at the games to comply with Olympic rules.

(Image by

However, Universiade officials did make one small concession by allowing spectators at events to cheer on Taiwanese athletes with Taiwanese flags, so long as they are no larger than 200 x 100 centimeters. Indeed, many Taiwanese flags have been seen in the stands at Universiade competitions starting with the opening ceremony.

Taiwanese fans throwing Taiwan flag to Argentine athlete. (Image by

Taiwanese netizens were thrilled to see the Argentine athletes carry the Taiwan flag at the Universiade's closing ceremony:

"Our own athletes are not allowed to carry them, so we have to rely on athletes from other countries to help us out! Thank you Argentina."

"Taiwan-Argentina friendship."

"Taiwan! no. 1"

"It turns out the people proudest of us are foreigners."

"Seeing the flag feels so good."

(Image by

The Republic of China (ROC) first competed in the Olympics beginning in 1932, but in 1975, the People's Republic of China (PRC) applied to participate in the games and insisted that the ROC (Taiwan) be decertified in the process. After much controversy over whether the ROC could participate in the 1976 Montreal games in Canada, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (father of current Canadian President Justin Trudeau) suggested the ROC compete as "Taiwan," as a compromise. The ROC government refused his terms and boycotted the games.

(CNA image)

Taiwan was not allowed back into the Olympics until the so-called "Nagoya Resolution" was passed in Nagoya, Japan in 1979 by the IOC, which dictated that Taiwan must use the ambiguous name "Chinese Taipei" and not use its national flag or anthem.

(CNA image)


A photographer with the CK Photography Club who took many of the photos said that at least two of the flags were handed to the athletes by Taiwanese fans in the front row.