The 12th National Games were held in Shenyang and 13 other cities of northeast China's Liaoning Province from 31 August to 12 September 2013, with the participation of 16,098, including 9,770 athletes (5,220 men, 4,550 women) from 38 teams and 3,625 referees (including 49 foreign referees in 12 sports). In addition, the Games were supported by 11,000 Games volunteers, 16,000 city volunteers and 2,000,000 social volunteers.
A total of 117 sports venues were used, and among the 25 newly-built ones 9 were inside the local unviersities. After fierce competition in 350 events in 40 disciplines of 31 sports, including golf and rugby which made their debut at the National Games, Team Shandong beat hosts Liaoning to top the final medal tally with 65 gold medals, breaking a 20-year tradition since the 7th National Games in 1993 that hosts had been winning. Host province Liaoning was second with 56 golds, followed by Guangdong in third place with 50.5.
The superstar of the Games was China's Olympic and world champion, 22-year-old Sun Yang, who bagged five gold medals (200m/Asian record, 400m, 800m, 4x200m relay, 1500m) and one bronze (100m) in men's freestyle swimming.
For the first time in history, the Games opening and closing ceremonies, both on a low budget, were held in the daytime. With 78 percent of the budget slashed to keep it to a maximum of 800 million yuan (about 130 million U.S. dollars), the Games featured a smooth running and high-level competitions which saw five Asian records, 14 national records and one national youth record renewed.