The seventh Military World Games concluded Sunday night in Wuhan, Hubei province with a closing ceremony showcasing friendship and Wuhan culture.
General Xu Qiliang, chairman of the 2019 Military World Games organizing committee and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, closed the games.
The ceremony started with a national flag raise and the People’s Republic of China’s national anthem, followed by the introduction of all participating nations’ flags and a series of performances.
Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier and chairwoman of the 2019 Military World Games organizing committee, said the 10-day event was a grand gathering of friendship and fruitful event, with seven world records and 85 games’ records broken.
“This is a grand event of honor. Every athlete has shown toughness, challenged limits and demonstrated the spirits of contemporary soldiers. We should send our congratulations to all the delegations and athletes,” she said.
Colonel Herve Piccirillo, president of the International Military Sports Council, said in his closing remarks that it is a common mission to strengthen the links between peoples and jointly promote world peace and stability.
He also said sports can break language barriers and address religious, race- and gender-based discrimination.
“I firmly believe that the CISM and Chinese organizing committee have given concrete answers to this vision and to building a better world,” he said.
Unlike the opening ceremony on Oct 18, which showcased Chinese civilization, the closing ceremony centered on local Wuhan culture, known as “Jing Chu”.
Wuhan, host city of the games, is the cradle of Chu culture defined by the Chu Kingdom, a powerful state during China’s Spring and Autumn Periods (770-476 BC).
Yang Xiaoyang, director of the closing ceremony, said one of the ceremony’s highlights was adapting Jing Chu elements, such as bronze chimes and local opera, for the modern day, represented by interactions with the games’ mascot and athletes from various countries.
During the ceremony, the French delegation was awarded the Fair-Play Honor by Dorah Mamby Koita, CISM secretary-general, for their elegance, bravery and understanding while participating in the games.
The 10-day games kicked off Oct 18 with 9,308 military athletes from more than 100 countries competing in 27 events for 329 gold medals.
By the end of the games, China topped the medal table with 239 medals, including 133 golds, 64 silvers and 42 bronzes.
The closing ceremony ended with the handover of the CISM flag and extinguishment the games’ flame.
The CISM flag was handed to the CISM president.