In his sonnets, William Shakespeare said “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” When you take the focus of the World University Games on young people ages 18-25 and apply that to the significant increase in North Carolina USA WUG Bid activities this month, Shakespeare’s quote seems particularly applicable. Read on to learn more about how those events and activities of the North Carolina Bid Committee in April have helped both advance the ball on the bid and inject the spirit of youth throughout.
USIUF Site Visit
The first of three official Site Visits in conjunction with North Carolina’s bid for the 2027 World University Games took place earlier this week on Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-18, 2022. The United States International University Sports Federation (USIUSF), the U.S. member of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the international governing body for the World University Games, brought its board of directors to North Carolina’s University Hub: Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, and Greensboro. Participating board members were Dan Guerrero, President; Delise O’Meally, Secretary General, Judy Rose, AD Emeritus, UNC Charlotte; Molly Simons, National Junior College Athletic Association; Liz Suscha, NCAA; Lori Thomas, Commissioner, Heart of America Conference; and Dave Roach, At Large.
Highlights of the visit included a walkthrough of the Greensboro Aquatic Center during USA Swimming’s Phillips 66 International Team Trials, which serves as the qualification event for U.S. competitors for the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. USA Swimming executives, Shana Ferguson, Chief Commercial Officer; Dean Ekeren, Director of Events; and Joel Shinofeld, Managing Director of Sport Development; were on hand to welcome the USIUSF Board members and to confirm USA Swimming’s support for North Carolina’s bid for the Games.
In addition, at Coach K Court on the campus of Duke University, the USIUSF delegation visited with two North Carolina World University Games alums: Kara Lawson, Head Coach of the Duke Women’s Basketball Team, and Monte Brown, Vice President for Administration at Duke Health. Kara Lawson was a gold medalist in Basketball at the 1981 World University Games in Beijing, China, and Monte Brown was a bronze medalist in Swimming at the 1971 World University Games in Bucharest, Romania. Both Duke leaders spent time discussing their athlete experiences from the Games, including how much their Games participation meant to them and how the Games set them on a positive trajectory for their future careers as sports and management executives respectively.
Many thanks to our Site Visit Hosts: Scott Johnson, Susan Braman, and David Hoover at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex; Timothy Johnson and Shannon Clegg at UNC Greensboro; Billy Edringston at NC A&T; Crystal Pace, Tom Embrey, and Larry Perkins at PNC Arena; Doug McRainey, William Davis, and David Crotts, WakeMed Soccer Park; Rick Steinbacher and Jaci Field, Carmichael Arena and Dorrance Field at UNC Chapel Hill; Mitch Moser and Becca Wilusz, Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University; Ingrid McCree and George “Bulldog” Smith at McLendon McDougald Arena at NC Central University; and Mike Birling and Scott Strickland at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Olympic Program in Salt Lake City
During the last week the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce had almost 170 local community, political, and business executives in Salt Lake City for an Inter-City Visit. Such Inter-city visits are intended to provide experience in, and learnings from, other high-performing cities, with a goal of building relationships and bringing back ideas and methodologies that can enhance and improve our capital city and neighboring communities. Salt Lake City was the host city for the highly successful 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is currently in the midst of an international campaign to return the Winter Games to the city in 2030. As a complement to the visit itinerary, North Carolina’s World University Games Bid Committee hosted a program on “The Host Community Olympic Sports Experience.”
The program featured Catherine “Cat” Raney Norman, four-time Olympian and Chairman of the Salt Lake City – Utah Committee for the Games, and Colin Hilton, a World University Games veteran and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. The program was MC’d by Molly Mazzolini, of Elevate Sports and a member of the Utah Games Bid Committee.
The program was attended by a broad spectrum of inter-city visit attendees ranging from city and county political leaders to local business, sports, and foundation executives.
Cat and Colin emphasized the numerous positive benefits of hosting a large Olympic sports event. Such benefits included building global relationships, putting the local community “on the map,” creating increased tourism, and generating major positive economic impacts. Internally, the Olympic Games led to significant and ongoing cooperation and collaboration between and among political jurisdictions, organizations, and the public and private sectors. In addition, the Games led to extensive road improvements and the construction of Salt Lake City’s attractive light rail system. The Games also put the economy of Salt Lake City and Utah into a strong growth mode. Today, Utah has the fastest growing economy in the country.
“This was a very timely program and was just what we needed to hear,” said Sig Hutchinson, Chairman of the Wake County Commissioners. “These types of events can be transformational for a community, and we need to take full advantage of the truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the World University Games bid presents for our region and state.”
Another Top-of Podium Finish for North Carolina’s WUG Bid Website
The North Carolina Bid Committee website has once again won an international creative award, capturing a platinum award, the highest of the Hermes Creative Awards, in the pro bono category. According to their website, Hermes Creative Awards “honor the messengers and creators of the information revolution. Armed with their imaginations and computers, Hermes winners bring their ideas to life through traditional and digital platforms. Each year, competition judges evaluate the creative industry’s best publications, branding collateral, websites, videos, and advertising, marketing, and communication programs.” Hill Carrow, Chairman & CEO of the NC Bid Committee, gave all credit for the win to the bid sponsor and marketing & design agency, Hummingbird Creative of Cary. “Thanks to our sponsor Hummingbird,” he said, “We are competing and winning at the highest level internationally in our creative work. Now we just need to sustain that success through the remainder of the bid process.”
Support the Bid
You can support the bid in a number of ways: corporate sponsorship, individual contribution, volunteering, or purchasing bid merchandise. (Bid apparel could make an attractive gift. Just click here.) We encourage you to visit our award-winning website at www.ncwug2027bid.com and join our team.
Sponsor Thank You’s
We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their strong belief in, and generous support of, North Carolina’s bid for the World University Games. We encourage you to patronize their businesses and give them your own personal thanks when you do.