the presence of the Turkish Minister of Youth and Sport, Suat Kilic, the
Opening Ceremony of the Championships displayed some of the history of the
country, its main attractions and traditions, and was certainly inspirational
for all the participants in the competition.
In his opening speech, FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione underlined the great attendance in Istanbul: “These World Championships are highlighted by a new record of participation, with 162 nations and nearly 1000 athletes present, a figure that demonstrates the value and importance of FINA around the world and the attractiveness of Istanbul, an exciting, beautiful and friendly metropolis between two continents”, he considered.
He then concluded by warmly thanking all the Turkish authorities for their commitment in staging the event. The parade of all the flags of participating countries was one of the strong moments of the ceremony, which displayed also a very successful demonstration of Turkish folkloric dances and concluded by a very original firework from the podium’s platform. Many children had the opportunity to witness the show from the stands and could perhaps be inspired to get initiated to Swimming or to dream of a medal in a major competition. The superb images of the championships provided by the Host Broadcaster TRT are also a solid guarantee that the youth around the world will appreciate the beauty of the aquatic sports. (fina)