Delivering big thrills on a budget
In terms of the competition venues, organizers worked to the principle: "Those that can be used should not be refurbished, and those that can be refurbished should not be replaced by a new venue."
A total of 58 venues across 11 cities are being used, among which only 19 are new builds.
After the Games, about 80 percent of all the newly built and refurbished venues will be available to the public for use either for free or with very low admission prices to fuel the national fitness campaign.
"These venues will be great places for people to play sports after the Youth Games," said Zhang.
"The Games presented us with an opportunity to upgrade public fitness facilities in the province.
"For example, in the city of Jincheng, over 800 new sports fields covering a total of one million square meters have been built over the past three years.
"During the 100 days before the opening ceremony, we organized over 500 fitness activities for the public across the province, with over 300,000 people participating."
The cost-effective measures, however, have not resulted in a reduction in quality, with the needs of the athletes always at the forefront of organizers' minds.
"During the National Youth Games, several basketball competitions have been played at Taiyuan University of Technology, with more than 600 athletes from 28 teams playing here," said Lang Bing, who is in charge of the university's venues and facilities.
"To ensure the players have the best quality environment, our university comprehensively upgraded two venues and two training courts in terms of lights, floors, seats and other facilities. The total investment reached about 20 million yuan.
"Before the Youth Games, the building of sports venues in our university was only to meet the demands of education.
"Now, we have upgraded the venues to meet the standards of hosting higher levels of competition."
That's exactly the kind of legacy the Youth Games wants to leave the province.
"It's an important question: How can we inherit the legacy of the Second National Youth Games?" said Zhao Xiaochun, director of Shanxi Sports Bureau.
"We have to fully utilize the great resources and the great sports atmosphere that the Games will leave behind.
"The event is a great motivation to inspire more people in the province to participate in sports.
"The Youth Games will also benefit Shanxi's development, economy and tourism."
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