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Torch Transfer Ceremony Held in Shangri-La Hotel

A ceremony was held at the Shangri-La Hotel this morning to hand the torch of the Beijing Universiade over to President George Killian of FISU, who in turn transferred the torch to Univerisade veterans from Turin, Italy, host of the First Universiade in 1959.

When the torch was handed to Rinaldo Bertolino, President of University of Turin, he gave it back to Liu Jingmin, vice mayor of Beijing, as a souvenir to Beijing.

In his address to the torch transfer ceremony, Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin said, “The flame of the torch will be continuing on its course to the new century. The sportsmanship the torch has embodied will be carried forward to the future.” He also pledged that Beijing and China will make greater contributions to the 2008 Olympics.

Then he handed the torch, which was the first torch from the First Universiade in Turin, Italy, to Presiden Killian.

Before Killian handed the torch Leonardo Coiana, President of CUSI, he presented Emanuele Scarpiello to the gathering, saying he learned “just five minutes ago” that the President of FISU Technical Committee since the First Universiade in 1959 had just resigned.

He then turned to Scarpiello and said, "You were there when the torch was lit. And the torch will always be lit for there will be Universiade, Universiade and Universiade."

The FISU President also presented another two Universiade veterans from Italy, who both attended the first Universiade 42 years ago. “They are both outstanding and original people and involved in Universiade from 1959 to 2001,” Killian said, adding they will be always welcome to the Universiade.

After Killian and Scarpiello together handed the torch to CUSI's President Leonardo Coiana, the latter passed the torch on to the President of the University of Turin, Rinaldo Bertolino. “We feel honored to have hosted the First Universiade in our city and our country,” Bertolino said. “The organization of 2001 Universiade is just excellent. And I sincerely hope that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing will be just as successful.”

At the end of the ceremony, Bertolino gave the torch to Li Guobin, an executive member of FISU and deputy secretary general of the 21st Universiade Organizing Committee, leaving it to Beijing “as a souvenir” to show the Italians’ goodwill.

(U21net 09/01/2001)

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