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Wuhan Military World Games draw peace forces closer

WUHAN, China, Oct. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2019 Military World Games, celebrated by participants from across the world, have further strengthened the belief in and forces for peace. The blazing flame of the 7th World Military Games has gone out. According to the Executive Committee of the 7th CISM Military World Games, nearly 10,000 military athletes from all over the world gathered in Wuhan, the "city of rivers and lakes," to promote peace and seek glory. They competed fairly and strove hard on the field, while making friends and encouraging each other off the field.

The 2019 Military World Games
The 2019 Military World Games

The event let the "sunshine of sports" to dispel the shadow of war, foster communications between different cultures and bring together people's hearts for peace. As a transport hub, Wuhan impressed the world with Chinese characteristics. Athletes across the globe displayed the military glory with utmost efforts. The wonderful Games have created a chapter of sharing friendship and building peace together.

A new chapter for World Military Games

Peace and cooperation are the theme highlighted during the Games.

The "spectacular, stunning and thrilling" opening ceremony "Torch of Peace" allowed more people to learn that the Chinese people, who have suffered from war, have a long-lasting pursuit of peace and a deep desire for it.

"Wu", the Chinese character for "military", is made of two other characters - "Zhi" meaning "end" and "Ge" meaning "spear." As early as 2,000 years ago, the Jingchu region, where Wuhan lies, put forward the ancient Chinese philosophy that the military is employed to stop the use of arms. The World Military Games was initiated to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the victory of World War II, and the fact that China is the main battlefield against fascism in the east. The Games were held in China for the first time, reflecting China's contribution to the peace process on the world stage, said Herve Piccirillo, president of the International Military Sports Council (CISM).

Since its successful bid to host the Games in May 2015, the Chinese government and military have adhered to the principle of hosting "green, inclusive, open and clean" Games. With the integration of a global perspective and Chinese characteristics, all the preparatory work had been completed to a high standard.

Global athletes gathered to share military glory in Wuhan. Nearly 10,000 athletes from 109 countries participated in the Games made up of 27 major sports and 329 events. Competitions, accommodations and receptions were organized by standards comparable to the those for the Olympic Games, setting up a broader platform for athletes from all countries to share friendship and build peace together.

For the first time in the CISM World Military Games history, the Games were open to the public, instead of being confined to the military bases. It was the first Games to feature a newly-built athletes' village. Also, it was the first time that all competitions have been held within one city, and the first time that all-round volunteer services were offered to all delegations. The Games is the largest of its kind, comparable to any world-class sporting event, said Piccirillo, adding that the Wuhan Games would make the world aware of the importance of sports for military preparations, peacekeeping operations and global military exchanges.

The Wuhan Games left a distinct Chinese mark in the history of the World Military Games, which also made Wuhan, an important city in central China, full of passion to accelerate its pace towards becoming an international metropolis.

After the opening ceremony, more than 50,000 spectators and more than 10,000 cast members left the venue in an orderly manner, while almost all the rubbish was taken away from the venue. A total of 26,000 volunteers were recruited, while the number of applicants exceeded 90,000. Many of the games were packed to capacity with tickets sold out. The cheers from the crowd showed the city's hospitality.

Building up peace forces

Roberto Punzo, an Italian soldier who attended the archery competition sitting in a wheelchair, received the best of applause and respect from the local spectators all through his contest.

In 2006, he was on a peacekeeping mission when he was hit by an explosion. The injury left the former pilot permanently unable to walk. In the darkest moments of Punzo's life, it was sport that inspired him to lift his spirits and regain his confidence.

Soldiers are not there to bring war, but to keep the peace of all mankind, said the 55-year-old. "I've been wounded in war, and I long for peace more than anyone else."

The World Military Games was initiated to commemorate peace and spread friendship. It has become an important platform for military forces of various countries to display their images, enhance friendship, and expand influence.

In the athletes' stands of the Games, athletes from different countries may not have known each other, but they could look at each other, laugh and clap their hands just minutes later. Sportsmanship is a universal language that doesn't require translation. The wall of peace and friendship in the Games village was full of good wishes for world peace, love for China and friendship in various languages.

During the Games, the mayors of Wuhan's 15 sister cities around the world sent letters to cheer for the Games and applaud for peace.

"As a former soldier and Olympic champion, I'm aware of what this event means for a city and what kind of message it sends to the sports world and the athletes," said Zsolt Borkai, mayor of Gyor, Hungary.

Over the past 40 years, Wuhan has formed sister cities with more than 110 cities in over 50 countries. This "circle of friends," which spans five continents, is a microcosm of China's adherence to peaceful development and expanding friendship.

Global peace will be achieved when a common philosophy is pursued. The world will prosper as long as peace prevails.

This splendid, extraordinary, and remarkable military sports event showed the new look of the people's armed forces as they strengthen their armed forces. It also revealed the great momentum of the Chinese nation toward national rejuvenation, and conveyed the firm belief that China and people around the world are working together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

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