“Top Sports – High Spirits” was the slogan for The World Games 2009. And a highly appropriate one at that: top-level sports performed by exceptional athletes were once more the mainstay of the games. And when the 4,000 sportsmen and women gathered in Kaohsiung to determine who is best, their spirits were high indeed – at one level with that of a city which carries “high” in its name! The design of the emblem for The World Games 2009 Kaohsiung took up on the concept as well: it was based on the Chinese character 高 – KAO – which translates as "high". Part toponym and part dynamic symbol, the emblem was to reflect the heritage and culture of the host city. It did that so convincingly that the Kaohsiung City Council adopted it as a World Games legacy for generic use beyond 2009.
The port city had submitted an excellent bid for The World Games 2009 – with many well defined objectives. Sustainable urban development, civic engagement and community building were among the organizers' priorities. Ultimately, Kaohsiung reinvented and transformed itself to be the perfect host to athletes and officials from 103 nations. Just as the Beijing Olympics did in 2008, The World Games 2009 were able to transcend the barriers of politics, even of the frequently strained Cross-Strait relations, and they emphasized the unique ability of sport to bridge all divides. All stakeholders ensured that “Excellence, Friendship and Respect” were the core values of 2009 Kaohsiung too.
The hosts managed to establish new benchmarks in nearly everything that is quantifiable in the staging of The World Games. Even though the sports were down slightly – only after the IWGA had to impose restrictions on the number of invitational sports – the 3,393 athletes and 1,466 officials made for a record participation. In the final tally, well over 10,000 people were involved in organizing and delivering the games. 4,652 volunteers helped to make the most ambitious sports-related project ever taken on by Taiwanese organizers an unqualified success.
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