(CHENGDU, China, July 24, 2019 AsiaNet=연합뉴스) From August 8 to 18, the 18th World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) will be held by the Chengdu Municipal People's Government. Founded in 1985, WPFG is a large-scale comprehensive sports event, participated in by police and firefighters from all over the world in the host city. The event staged every two years.
Defeating Rotterdam of Holland in 2013 for the bid to host the WPFG 2019, Chengdu becomes the first Asian city winning this honor. Danny Burdick, a member of the Executive Committee of the WPFG, explained why they chose Chengdu as the host city, "in the end, we found through investigation that Chengdu outshone other candidates with greater enthusiasm, commitment, professionalism and venue preparation. It stood out naturally."
As a thriving national-level central city, Chengdu is typically a must for sightseeing and investment in China. The cute pandas and the spicy cuisine have never failed the visitors' expectations.
In fact, sports are becoming another emblem of this world-known city, after panda and Sichuan cuisine. In the past two years, Chengdu succeeded in winning the bid to host the 2021 Summer Universiade and the 2025 World Games. Going forward, these international events will give people more opportunities to have a closer look at the city.
Apart from world-class events, local games are also growing at an amazing rate. In this May, the Chengdu Marathon, initiated in 2017, was confirmed as a candidate event for the Abbott World Marathon Majors. When passing the assessment, it will be the 7th WMM event. While the registration channel for 2019 Chengdu Marathon was just closed this month, the register pool comes close to 100,000-people, according to official data.
Judging from past experience, holding large-scale sports events could largely help boost the city's industry, transport, greening and public infrastructure construction. Sheffield of the United Kingdom is an example. The 1991 World Student Games fueled the sport popularity and facility refinement in this host city, and the UK government even announced in 1997 to pour 60mln pounds to set up the British Sports Association. Today, Sheffield has repositioned itself as a city of sports and technology from its former role of an industrial town.
Compared to Sheffield, Chengdu may be a better role model. It even includes ecological protection in the advancement of sports facilities.
The Tianfu Greenway, still under construction, is the longest planned greenway system in the world with a total length of 16,930 kilometers. As one of local government's major measures to promote the all-people sports and bio-protection initiatives, the Tianfu Greenway System will be built a comprehensive, environmentally friendly system that integrates bio-protection, sports, slow traffic and leisure tours all in one.
At present, 2,600 km of the Tianfu Greenway has been put in place and the entire system is to be completed in 2035. It is foreseeable that when constructed, the Tianfu Greenway System and its ancillary facilities will not only give locals easier access to sports, but greatly improve the city's image and eco-environment.
In addition, Chengdu's support for technology-based sports companies is also worthy of attention. In recent two years, Chengdu is making every effort to mint itself the Sci. & Tech. hub in West China, establishing both the country's largest software park - Tianfu Software Park, and the country's first industrial carrier to incubate and foster unicorn companies - Unicorn Island. Also, the local government has promulgated an array of investment funds to encourage the development of local innovative companies. Codoon is one of the beneficiaries.
Incorporated in Chengdu in 2010, Codoon has grown into the world's largest sports socializing platform and one of the most-installed sports APPs with a pool of over 80mln users. Shen Bo, founder and CEO of the company, said, "I am very optimistic about the development of Chengdu's sports industry. On the one hand, Chengdu is vigorously building sports facilities, creating a favourable environment for the development of the sports industry; On the other hand, the city is massing a good number of resources to boost the development of the sports industry."
As a city enjoying the biggest economic vigor, Chengdu truly impresses us with its development in recent years. On the World City Register 2018 published by the authoritative city rating agency, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC), in November 2018, Chengdu ranks 71 among global candidates, following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in mainland China. Chengdu has made leapfrog ascent on the ranking for consecutive years, thanks to its thriving economy, a key parameter of the ranking.
While the development of the sports industry has brought vitality to the city, the city has rewarded the sports industry with boundless opportunities. We have every reason to believe that Chengdu, an ancient city with a civilization dating back to 4,500 years ago, will grow into the Sheffield in the East through sports.
Source: Chengdu Municipal People's Government
[편집자 주] 본고는 자료 제공사에서 제공한 것으로, 연합뉴스는 내용에 대해 어떠한 편집도 하지 않았음을 밝혀 드립니다.
<저작권자(c) 연합뉴스, 무단 전재-재배포 금지>