The FISU Family and officials from the Korea University Sports Board, the Badminton Korea Association and the WUBC Organising Committee, Gwangju citizens and athletes from 19 countries gathered together and celebrated the beginning of the Championship.
The ceremony started with Korea’s national anthem and the flag of the host country was raised at the same time. Following the national anthem, the participating national teams marched into the stadium and received resounding applause from spectators.
Kang Un-tae, the Mayor of Gwangju City and Chair of the WUBC OC, introduced the VIP guests in his welcome address. He also highlighted Gwangju’s efforts to achieve not only a sporting event, but also a festival of education, culture, harmony, and peace among young people from all over the world. He encouraged all players to make the best of their skills and enjoy the championship and companionship.
Cho Ho-kwon, the President of the Gwangju Metropolitan Council, and Kim Jong-ryang, an Assessor of the FISU Executive Committee, gave their heartfelt congratulatory speeches.
On behalf of the FISU representatives, 1st Assessor Alison Odell congratulated the host city on holding the Championship, emphasising on its significance as Gwangju is the birthplace of Korea’s modern democratic movement.
Mayor Kang declared the championship open amid a storm of applause. Lee Yong-dae, the Korean star player who was given hearty cheers from spectators, took the oath on behalf of all athletes, as did the referee from Korea, Kim Myung-ja, on behalf of the umpires and referees.
After the ceremony, various performances of bands such as Korean Fusion Classic and B-boy took the stage, pleasing the eyes and ears of everyone present in the gymnasium.