TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) has demonstrated zeal and ingenuity by hosting the 2021 National Intercollegiate Athletic Games (NIAG).
The NIAG represents the nation's highest level of intercollegiate athletics. The meet is expected to draw 15,000 athletes and supporting staff to Tainan from May 14-18, according to an NCKU press release.
Noting the university is celebrating its 90 anniversary this year, NCKU President Su Huey-jen (蘇慧貞) said at a press conference on Monday (April 19) the flame represents participating athletes and their enthusiasm to be the best.
The flame was lit at two of the city’s most celebrated historic sites — Tainan Confucian Temple and the Guan Gong Temple — which are emblems of education and martial arts, respectively, Su said. She added the lighting of the flame also represents the integration of culture and technology, which is the university's motto.
On Monday, Su presided over a ceremony that ignited an electronic torch from a physical torch. The e-torch was then loaded with prayers from representative organizations and loaded onto a balloon developed by NCKU, before being let off into the sky.
The e-torch is set to soar 30 kilometers up, fly over the Central Mountain Range, and land at a set spot in the East Rift Valley in east Taiwan. "May the torch give Taiwan peace and prosperity," Su said.
The 19-day torch relay will begin on Tuesday from NCKU. This will involve 60 runners carrying the flame on a journey of 1,168 kilometers across Taiwan, visiting 30 universities in the process.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲), who attended the torch ceremony, said the last time NCKU hosted the national intercollegiate athletic games was 40 years ago. He said it was a precious opportunity and an honor for the city to host the event again.
(YouTube, NCKU video)
NCKU President Su Huey-jen holding the torch (Taiwan News, George Liao photo)