Nanjing Normal University’s 58th Fall Sports Meet was successfully held on October 23, 2020 on the Xianlin campus. While the crisp autumn wind was accompanied by the resounding music, on the main playground of the Xianlin campus, students were getting ready for the opening ceremony.
The whole sports meet lasted 2 days. On the morning of the first day, the opening ceremony and fun sports kicked off. During the next one and a half days, different track and field events were held.
Minqiang Hu, Secretary of NNU Committee of the CPC, declared the start of opening ceremony. Then students began their performances. The first square team is a “Volleyball team” composed of the school volleyball team and 3 well-known female volleyball athletes: Zhan Chen, Changning Zhang and Xiangyu Gong who are also members of China women’s national volleyball team and won the champion at the RIO Olympics.
The Tai Chi performance was one important part of the opening ceremony. Tai chi, an internal Chinese martial art, is practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. Today, Tai chi has spread worldwide. On the playground, students wearing traditional Chinese costumes stood in line, playing Tai chi orderly to the music, which disseminated the beauty of the ancient Chinese culture to everyone present, including a sophomore from Nigeria named Ire. “Among all the performance, my favorite one is Tai Chi,” said Ire, “It was so fascinating and powerful! My friends want to learn it after watching the performance. This is the first year I came to participate in the Sports meet, and I feel quite excited. Next year I want to join in running a race.”
Ire from the International College for Chinese Studies (photo provided by NNU student photographer Sijia Chen)
After all the performances ended, Guoxiang Chen, the president of NNU, delivered a speech. He extended his sincere congratulations on the holding of the sports meet and expressed gratitude towards every teacher and student who prepared for the meet. Also, he encouraged all teachers and students to participate in sports activities, which will strengthen their bodies.
Shortly after the opening ceremony, the fun sports specifically targeted at the university’s teachers were unveiled. One was a slow-paced bicycle race. The players tightly held the handlebars and carefully controlled the speed to a crawl, which presented a unique sight at the stadium. Wenzheng Liu, an associate professor from the School of Food Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering, participated in the race and revealed a trick, “When you ride in a curved path, you ride the slowest.” Saying the race gave him “a chance to relax”, he appreciated the fun sports very much.
Wenzheng Liu participating in the slow-paced bicycle race(photo provided by NNU student photographer Sijia Chen)
With the slow-paced race over, a fast-paced one followed. In the fun running race, teachers had to balance a tennis ball on a bat when zooming along the track. Yu Hu, a teacher from the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, said he enjoyed the lively atmosphere, with his colleagues cheering all around. “I hope I can take the lead and encourage students to exercise actively,” smiled Yu Hu.
Yu Hu practicing on the track (photo provided by NNU student photographer Sijia Chen)
Moving on to the students’ events, the fierce final of the 110m hurdles unleashed the enthusiasm of the spectators, with deafening cheers echoing in the stadium. Eventually, Jiani Mao, a student from the School of Sports Science and Physical Education, won the championship in sparkling form. Still, she felt it a pity because of not breaking her personal record. “I think I could do better. To me, it’s more like a usual practice than a race. I enjoy the process.”
Jiani Mao at the award ceremony (photo provided by NNU student photographer Sijia Chen)
Having experienced a real test of mettle, the athletes’ efforts finally paid off. And the fall sports meet, providing a stage for both teachers and students to keep fit and have fun, also came to a perfect ending.