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19th ISF Gymnasiade kicks off in Normandy, France
source:Xinhua News Agency 2022-05-17 14:23:21 editor:GuShanshan

The 19th ISF Gymnasiade sponsored by the International School Sport Federation (ISF) opened on the evening of May 15 in the coastal city of Deauville, Normandy, France, attracting about 3,500 athletes and officials from 63 countries and regions, including China. The participants will compete in 20 sports during the one-week event.

The Chinese delegation shows up at the opening ceremony of the 19th ISF Gymnasiade. (Xinhua/Xiao Yazhuo)

The opening ceremony was held at the seaside International Center of Deauville. The Organizing Committee of the event creatively designed a special parade of the participating teams. The teams walked about one kilometer through the most hustling street of the city to the seaside International Center of Deauville, where the final part of the opening ceremony was held.

The Chinese delegation participates in the town parade during the opening ceremony of the 19th ISF Gymnasiade. (Xinhua/Xiao Yazhuo)

The parade was lined with spectators who cheered on the young athletes from all around the world. The local youth sports societies also staged splendid sports presentations. Qian Cheng, dancesport/breaking dancer from China, gave a freestyle performance accompanied by a local music band.

"The atmosphere of the opening ceremony was great, gathering young athletes from all around the world to feel different cultures. The audience along the way was very enthusiastic and made us very excited. There were also Chinese compatriots in the audience. After seeing our student team walking past, they shouted cheers for the Chinese team, and we responded enthusiastically to them. I was very moved at that time," said Yao Qian, coach of the Chinese fencing team.

At the opening ceremony, the sports delegation of Chinese middle school students presented Chinese students' optimism and Chinese nation's inclusiveness. The Chinese athletes are expected to give full play to their potential and show Chinese youngsters' fighting spirit in the world arena.

China has sent 35 athletes to compete in nine sports including athletics, swimming and dancesport/breaking. Jiang Qiyao, a fencer from Shenzhen Foreign Languages School, participated in the opening ceremony as the flag bearer of the Chinese delegation.

"I was very excited and proud when I was asked to carry the flag at the opening ceremony this afternoon. This is my first competition abroad. I believe as long as I can show my best, that will be enough and the ranking will not be too bad," said Jiang Qiyao.

Chinese fencer Jiang Qiyao participates in the opening ceremony as the flag bearer of the Chinese delegation.

Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, came to cheer up the young athletes at the opening ceremony. In his address, he wished the event to be a new starting point for young students to follow their dreams, and hoped the young students, whether or not they'd become professional athletes, would remain their passion for sports because it is a habit of lifelong benefit.

Qian Cheng, a Chinese dancesport/breaking dancer, gives a freestyle performance when the parade reaches the downtown square. (Xinhua/Xiao Yazhuo)

The 19th ISF Gymnasiade will conclude on May 22. All competitions will be held in nine cities across the region of Normandy.