On the evening of November 16, the opening ceremony of the HYX 16th World Wushu Championships electrified the Fort Worth Convention Center with a dynamic program of cowboys, brass band music, and incredible wushu performances that thrilled the packed arena.
The American flag and the International Wushu Federation flag were presented by the local Boswell High School Color Guard. Then the national and regional teams from around the world proudly marched in waving their own country’s flags, smiling and waving at the crowd, building up the energy of the evening. Local singer Caryn Spurlin sang the national anthem. Then Mr. Anthony Goh, Chairman of the HYX 16th World Wushu Championships, and Vice-President of the IWUF, gave a warm and heartfelt speech welcoming everyone to the championships.
Next, the Chairman and Managing Director of the HengYuanXiang Group, the Title Sponsor of the WWC, Mr. Chen Zhongwei, gave a speech emphasizing the importance of wushu as a sport bringing people together and elevating society and civilization.
Following this, Mr. Greg Jackson, the Chairman of the Board for Fort Worth Sister Cities offered remarks stating how special it was to have the championships held in Fort Worth, and how wushu brings athletes together in friendship from all over the world. On behalf of the Mayor of Fort Worth, he welcomed everyone to the city, and from the Office of the Mayor officially proclaimed November 16-20 as Fort Worth Wushu Week, and presented a commemorative plaque to the LOC.
Next, it was time for the oaths to be sworn by athletes, coaches and officials. From Chile, Elizette Toledo recited the officials’ oath; from USA Tristan Kooc recited the athletes’ oath; and from Bermuda, Garon Wilkinson recited the coaches’ oath.
The new elected President of the International Wushu Federation, Mr. Gao Zhidan then officially proclaimed the 16th World Wushu Championships open. The teams marched out, and the opening ceremony entertainment began.
The arena floor was a sea of white taiji silks, flowing gracefully as 100 American taiji players young and old performed an ethereal set of Taiji 24. This was followed by the USA Wushu Kungfu Federation’s traditional demonstration team offering a fast-paced, powerful and impressive variety of traditional kungfu.
Then it was time for some cowboy entertainment. The international and local crowd was enthralled by a masterful display of Texas cowboy talent, as the musical trio Latigo Crossing played lively Western tunes, and trick roper Ketch Weaver and his horse Peter Pan gave a thrilling rope performance. Another musical extravaganza followed, with the Boswell High School Marching Band.
The finale of the evening came with a gorgeous wushu performance by the China Yunnan Wushu Elite team, which brought down the house with applause, and undoubtedly kindled great energy and inspiration in all the competitors watching and cheering.