GWANGJU, South Korea: Youth is the light of the future. This will be the theme of the prestigious 2015 Summer World University Games when the multisporting event formally unfurls today at the Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium here.
More than 12,000 athletes and officials and some 40,000 spectators will be entertained with cultural shows and presentations about the “youth of this era.” A total of 2,164 performers have been tapped in the opening rites.
“We wish to embody life and love, and light the ways into a new future. We will take hands with youth from all over the world to create a bright future with energy and life. Youth is the light of the future,” the organizers explained.
The program will start at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in Manila) with the entrance of flags of participating countries to be followed by a cultural show featuring young Korean performers and the traditional parade of nations.
Gwangju Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC) Co-President Kim Yoon-suk will welcome the participants while the opening address will be delivered by GUOC Co-President Kimg Hwang-sik.
Another presentation explaining “each youth that are living different lives in their different space and experiencing the hardships of life meet together and overcome the difficulties to find the true meaning of light” serves as finale before formally lighting the World University Games cauldron.
The Philippines will be parading more than 90 athletes from swimming, tae kwon do, badminton, athletics, table tennis, tennis, golf and judo with former Sen. Nikki Coseteng leading the Philippine delegation as the country’s flag bearer.
Joining Caseteng in the frontline are Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) President David Ong, Philippine Swimming League President Susan Papa, Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, coaches Sonia Baltazar, Alex Papa, Marlon Dula, Guia Llaguno, Edwin Valdez, Ive Sta. Ana and Rensy Bajar.
“We want our swimmers enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. We are not expecting any medals here but we are hoping that they’ll share the experience they would gain here to their fellow swimmers especially the young ones,” stressed Papa.