Olympic Qualifier Series to boost Shanghai as a sports hub

chinadaily.com.cn| May 16, 2024


Pierre Fratter-Bardy (left), the associate director of the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Games Strategy & Development team, speaks to the media during a press conference on Wednesday in Shanghai. Luo Bin/For China Daily

Pierre Fratter-Bardy, the associate director of the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Games Strategy & Development team, lauded Shanghai as an international sports hub during a news conference on May 15 ahead of upcoming Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS).

The four-day event starting on May 16, featuring a thrilling lineup of BMX freestyle, skateboarding, breaking, and sport climbing competitions along the Huangpu Riverside, is set to bring a fusion of sports and culture to the vibrant metropolis.

Fratter-Bardy expressed confidence in Shanghai's ability to deliver a world-class event, citing the city's rich history of hosting major sporting events and its energetic atmosphere as key factors in its selection as the location for the inaugural ground breaking series.

The event, split into two parts with Shanghai as the first stop and Budapest as the next destination, is designed to be compact and urban, with preliminaries on Thursday and Friday, leading up to the finals over the weekend.

Fratter-Bardy noted that the OQS is not just a competition but a celebration of sports, music, and fashion, offering attendees a unique festival-like experience.

"The event's innovative approach, blending sports with culture and entertainment, reflects the evolving landscape of the Olympic Games and society at large," he said.

With a capacity for 15,000 spectators in the urban park, organizers anticipate a bustling atmosphere throughout the event which will feature a spectacular lineup of performances, including dance shows, fashion shows and concerts celebrating Chinese culture to providing an immersive experience for attendees.

On Wednesday night, an opening ceremony for the OQS was held to welcome global athletes and guests.

"The Olympic Qualifier series serves as a crucial stage leading to the Olympics, and it is also a public festival where sports events blend with urban culture," said Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai. "Shanghai is a city where East and West converge, and where culture and modernity intertwine. The host venue, the Huangpu Riverside, which was one section of the Shanghai World Expo site, embodies this duality, steeped in rich history yet exuding youthful vigor."

Hosting the qualifier series in an Olympic year injects new impetus and advantages into Shanghai's efforts to accelerate the development toward a globally renowned sports city and enhance its soft power of urban culture, Gong noted.





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