Produced by: Dan Hwang
Written by: Poe
In dramatic fashion, the 3 MCs on stage brought out each athletes in attendance through the sea of gathered spectators last evening as the first ever Nike Festival of Sports concluded. The 4-day long event, filled with activities in basketball, skateboarding, golf, running, soccer, tennis, even MMA, was an unprecedented by all accounts. Not counting the daily visitors, the event saw more than 100,000 participants in every skill level. The frayed relationships between China and contested regions like Taiwan gained a new start. Other lasting impacts include refurbished facilities at Shanghai Stadium, a total of 6 full courts, 1 half court, 3 pavilions and 1 kids’ court, courtesy of Nike to citizens of Shanghai.
In all, 21 basketball teams went head to head with personal coaching from Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyson Chandler, Chris Bosh, and the likes Amar’e Stoudemire. On the soccer, 16 clubs got assistance from the Chinese national team as well as Nike Soccer personnel. For many, like the 42 skateboarders participated, it was an opportunity to see their role models, Omar Salazar, Eric Koston and Shane O’Neill in person for the first time. If LeBron James was the centerpiece at Nike Festival of Sports – Opening Ceremony last Thursday, then it was Chinese track star Liu Xiang’s turn on the Closing Ceremony podium. Felt right at home under the spotlight, Xiang described the need for such event in the near future, as well as his upcoming Nike Running Collection and his very own Lunarglide 3+ LX. Right before the anticipated performance with songstresses ELVA and Chang Chen-yue, all the winners from U19, U22, and Women’s Basketball Tournaments came on stage for an overwhelming reception from the audience. In the midst however, there was a whispering chant for Nike to have the event again next year.