Saturday, 11 August 2007

Universiade 2007 Update: Day 4 Photo Gallery

Before I get to the photos, I wanted to touch on the organization of Universiade 2007 so far. Some things are being done quite well while certain areas are very lacking.

First, the timing and location of events. Up to this point, all scheduled events have started on time and in the correct venues as listed. I have seen no problem with that at all.

However, signage at events has been quite poor in my opinion. Upon arriving at various gymnasiums it has been very unclear where spectators should proceed to gain entrance. Signs, if there are any, have been small, misplaced and full of spelling mistakes. For some, these mistakes are amusing and charming. After having lived in Thailand for a number of years, I consider them annoying and asinine.

Millions upon millions of dollars have flowed in for the preparation of these games. At some point, someone was instructed to make various signs. This country is crawling with English speaking foreigners and yet, apparently in numerous cases, the person assigned this task simply failed to check with a native speaker or consult a dictionary. The results are the following absurdities:

When you find it, you can plug in your basketball

The throwing events are completed and the results have been filed over there

The transportation around the campus seems to be fairly good in terms of the number of shuttle buses available. However, the stops are poorly marked and the drivers have not been properly trained. They are unaware that western countries have strict safety standards that include coming to a complete stop and not allowing dangerous overcrowding. These rolling stops and buses rammed to overflowing has been off-putting to many. It's amazing no one has been hurt yet. Hopefully the games will finish without any incidents.

Also, all drivers are completely lacking in any English skills and there is no clear indication regarding the route for each shuttle. There are hundreds of volunteers who are interpreting in many situations. Why wasn't a volunteer put on each shuttle bus to advise passengers?

Concessions at most locations have been poor to non-existent. This campus is absolutely huge. People get hungry and thirsty throughout the day yet have few options but to return to a few central canteens. No doubt this has resulted in lower attendance at some events as many people can't be bothered to return to a competition they may have been viewing before leaving for lunch or dinner.

Overall, I'll give the organization of this event a grade of : adequate (and that's being generous.)

Now, on to some photos. More taekwondo and some volleyball this morning.

Brazil playing China in volleyball

China spiking home a winner

Brazil ultimately prevailed 3 games to 0

Women's taekwondo, Korea in blue, Kazakhstan in red

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