Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday inaugurated the 7th Military World Games here on Friday wherein more than 10,000 military officials from over 100 counties, including India are expected to participate with a record-high 329 events across 27 sports.
In a video message, Thomas Bach, President of International Olympic Committee urged everyone to keep the Olympic spirit alive.
During the opening ceremony, five-starred red flag, the emblem of the games and the flag of International Military Sports Council were displayed. The ceremony also saw march by athletes from all the countries.
It is for the first time that China is hosting the Military World Games which is also known as Military Olympics.
With an objective to improve its previous records, as many as 54 players of Indian Armed Forces’ sports contingent are also participating in the nine-day long Military Olympics.
Indian military athletes will be showing their might in 10 games including archery, boxing, cycling, diving, modern pentathlon, shooting, TRAC and Field gymnastics, wrestling and tennis.
A total of 35 venues have been built for the soldiers’ Olympics. Of the 35 venues, 13 have been newly built, 17 have been reconstructed using sites formerly operated by the city and local universities, and five are temporary facilities.
The main venue of the Olympics is China’s Wuhan, a city endowed with rich water resources, with 166 large and small lakes dotting throughout its territory. Hoping to promote the great lakes and rivers, all 35 venues of the games are allocated to be held in four zones, adjacent to local waters.
The theme for the 7th Military World Games is ‘Military Glory and Peace’. The first military world games was inaugurated in Rome in 1955, and since then, it is held in every four years by the International Military Sports Council or CISM.
The CISM was founded in 1948 and now 139 member states across four continents participate.
Prior to this, all Military Olympics have been organised by military organisations, however, the 7th soldiers’ Olympics is the first to be organised jointly by the military department and local government.