2017 Taipei Summer Universiade torch relay to start in Italy

The torch relay for the upcoming 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade�the largest global sporting event ever staged in Taiwan�is set to get underway June 20 with a special ceremony in the Italian city of Turin.

Comprising international and domestic legs, the two-month relay begins with the lighting of the official torch at the University of Turin. The choice of the metropolis in northern Italy as the starting point for the event is a nod to its hosting of the first Summer Universiade in 1959 and a symbolic handover of the spirit of sportsmanship enshrined in the games, according to Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee under Taipei City Government.

Taipei City Major Ko Wen-je will light the torch in front of a number of officials and dignitaries such as representatives from International University Sports Federation (FISU) and Turin's city council. He is at the head of a Taiwan delegation including Chu Mu-yen, the relay's first torch bearer and the country's gold medalist in the men's under 58-kilogram class in taekwondo at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and TUOC Chief Executive Officer Su Li-chiung.

Following the ceremony and the Turin route of the relay, the torch will pass through the southern Italian city of Naples, host of the 2019 Summer Universiade; Thailand's Bangkok, host of the 2007 Summer Universiade; and South Korea's Daegu�host of the 2003 Summer Universiade. The torch is expected to arrive June 29 in Taipei City.

According to TUOC, the domestic leg of the relay will pass July 5 through Yushan�the highest peak in Taiwan and Northeast Asia at 3,952 meters�and all of the country's 22 cities and counties. Each route in Taiwan is designed to highlight the distinctive cultural, commercial and environmental features of the cities and counties.

Also known as the World University Games, the Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival staged every two years in a different city worldwide. The 29th edition of the games in Taipei involves 7,700-plus student athletes from 153 countries contesting 21 sports at 38 competition venues in Taipei, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, New Taipei and Taoyuan cities.

Source: Taiwan Today