The 2023 National Middle Schools Athletic Games will be held in Hsinchu County, with the theme of “Start in Hsinchu County and Stride Toward the Future”. Organizers hope that students from all over the country will strive for good results with strength and youthful enthusiasm. The opening ceremony, planned by well-known artist Billy Chang, was held today (the 22nd) at the Hsinchu County Gymnasium, featuring a multicultural international stage play. With more than 450 students and performers, the play perfectly presented Hsinchu’s local culture and history as well as the vision of a technological capital. The finale of the ceremony featured a newly innovated “floating flame”, followed by a 300-second firework show that lit up the night sky over the stadium, kicking off the 2023 National Middle Schools Athletic Games!
Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke arrived with several dignitaries, including Executive Yuan Premier Chen Chien-jen, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung, Director of Sports Administration Chen Shih-chung, Hualien County Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei, Trade and Investment Queensland Office Director Liu Pei-hsi, Israeli Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei Director Aviv Doron, India–Taipei Association Vice Presidents Mr. Sarthak Choudhary and Mr. Soumith Raju, and representative of the sister city Santa Clara County, California, Sung Chen. It was a historic moment to experience the culture, co-prosperity, and vitality of multi-ethnic inclusion in Hsinchu County. Members of the audience joined hands to cheer for young athletes from all over the country as the start of the 2023 National Middle Schools Athletic Games was officially announced.
Magistrate Yang stated that the National Middle Schools Athletic Games will continue for six days, from today (the 22nd) through the 27th. People from all over the country are invited to come to Hsinchu County to cheer for the athletes. This is the first large-scale event in Hsinchu County in the past fifty years, and the mood is electric. Manpower, energy, and all the best resources have been invested in this event. Magistrate Yang expressed hope that all athletes will do their best and achieve good results. The opening performance combined technology and art with local culture and history, fully displaying beautiful mountains and rivers. It was a refreshing experience. Magistrate Yang hoped that through this refreshing performance, the citizens of Taiwan will understand more about Hsinchu County, and the outstanding athletes will have an opportunity to go all-out and surpass their limitations out on the field.
Premier Chen expressed his gratitude to Magistrate Yang’s team for coordinating and planning the event, adding that the central government will also work to actively improve Taiwan’s sports environment, and that many international competitions will be held in the future. He sent his best wishes to the athletes, encouraging them to go higher and farther, strive for good results, and reach their peak performance. On behalf of the President of Taiwan, Premier Chen announced the official start of the National Middle Schools Athletic Games.
The opening warm-up show featured the suite of Teng Yu-hsien’s classic work, “A Song of April Rain, Touching Your Heart” combined with immersive animations to lead the audience into an international music feast. It was followed by the ancient Atayal song, “An Overview of Dabajian Mountain, Small World,” which incorporated dancers’ exquisite movements to interpret the ancestors’ traditional myths. The performance was an ethnic hodge podge showing the co-prosperity and shared interests of different ethnic groups, their histories and life struggles across multiple generations, and their resilient spirit of never giving up.
The next performance, “Have A Taste of Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea, Enjoy Stories from Ancient Times to the Present”, used a 10-meter-high mountain scene curtain and a large-scale ground projector to retell the story of Jin Guang Fu, a mansion built through the cooperative efforts of Fujian and Cantonese people. The emotional voice of Hsieh Yu-wei, winner of the Golden Melody Award for Best Hakka Singer, created an atmosphere that further immersed the audience in local culture. The Hakka folk song incorporated elements of tea picking and tea making to present the contemporary tea making industry and the significance of local culture. A fusion of tea ceremony and street dance formed the basic elements of this performance, which spread positive energy.
Following the wonderful performances, dance troupes and mascots led the executive committee delegation and athletes from various counties and cities into the Games venue. Break dancers led the Hsinchu County Team into the venue as the athletes displayed their confidence. Hsinchu County gold medalists Hsu Li-hung and Lin Pei-hsuan acted as torch bearers to ignite the torch, flooding the stage with radiant light that rendered the scene glamorous. Everyone sang the theme song of the Games together. Meanwhile, a 300-second firework show was ongoing outside the stadium, illuminating the night sky over the venue. With that, the Games kicked off!