During the FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium, the FIFA flag was carried by six youths from a poor county of China – Danzhai. Wanda Group, the Official Partner of FIFA 2018, had the sole rights to select the lucky six. The result? It went to the youth in Danzhai.
In 2014 Wanda Group donated $225 million in Danzhai with specific poverty alleviate projects. One and half years later Danzhai Wanda Village was built and opened for tourism while adding over 2000 jobs. Just a few day ago the Village hit 5 million visitors, an amazing number in less than 12-month operation.
In order to choose the best of Danzhai for FIFA, competitions started in early April with 3,870 contestants between the ages of 13 to18. Three rounds of essays, speeches, and talent shows resulted in the final 15. Judges then chose the final six. Among them is 13-year old Chang-Sheng Yang who used to spend much time with his cousin, who dead of cancer last year. Unable to afford a ball, they would make one out of newspaper to play.
Today is a proud day for everyone associated with Danzhai. When the youths entered the stadium, the Danzhai locals watched the TV at home went wild. They celebrated a special moment for Danzhai under the global spotlight.