Fireworks and fanfare marks opening of 2013 World Rowing Championships
The tone was set for the start of the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea with a glittering opening ceremony at the new Tangeum Lake International Rowing Regatta venue.
The packed grandstand was treated to dancing, fireworks and a light show that brilliantly blended Korean tradition with modern culture. The event was attended by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who spoke to the audience about being back in his home town of Chungju and the ability to promote peace through sport. Mr Moon was especially impressed by the number of nations competing at these World Rowing Championships – the final count being 71 nations.
Mr Ban stated, “When it comes to making our world a better place, you are all winners.”
This comes on the eve of the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations adopting a resolution to make 6 April the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. In attendance at the General Assembly was FISA vice president and IOC member Anita DeFrantz.
The United Nations was further linked to rowing with 34 participants of the United Nations Youth Leadership programme attending the opening ceremony. These participants come from an international array of sports organisations and academic institutions.
Official speeches at the opening ceremony also included FISA president and International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidential candidate, Denis Oswald. The election for IOC president will happen in Buenos Aires in two weeks’ time.
For the ceremony the finish podium had been converted into a stage with many local musicians, dancers and entertainers taking to the stage. Highlights included drummers with fire sticks and blended break dancing with traditional dance moves. A master singer arrived by boat as the ceremony combined water and light.
Racing at the World Rowing Championships goes from 25 August until 1 September with worldrowing.com being the hub of results, photographs, interviews and everything World Championships related.