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29th July 2017 – Competition opening ceremony

As France representative and future International Whip and spinning top Federation General Secretary, my “official obligations” did not allow me to attend the opening ceremony as a whole. At nine o’clock we were, in fact, inaugurating the International spinning top Museum (see this post) and when we arrived in the arena, the ceremony had already begun. Fortunately, the previous two days, I have attended the rehearsals and I had a fairly precise idea of the event.

The flag-bearers are aligned in front of the scene

The flag bearers of the different provinces of China were already in place, as well as the representatives of the different countries – because of the lack of foreign participants in this first international competition, it was Chinese young boys and girls who were marching through the signs of the different countries – and we arrived just in time to see the teams coming from the different provinces of China. I was able to greet the Wuhan team, led by Mister Zhang that we met the previous month at Beijing Lu.

The Chinese provinces teams parade

Once this crowd aligned to the center of the arena, we had the officials speeches (translated in english by Mister Zhou). Then the crowd left the arena to give place to the demonstrations: the top players on plate first, young people of ten years who hit their tops in cadence with the help of two sticks. These ones then left room for a group of woman in folk costume who offered us pretty much the same show. Then the whip players arrived; about 20 players in Tai Chi outfit who performed a series of perfectly synchronized movements. Then it was the youth of the local whip team, the same people who were trying to teach me how to handle the whip properly. On this, the ceremony ended and we went to lunch at the hotel restaurant.

Spinning top plate demonstration by the local Benjamins team