July 2023: World University Games Update

The summer may seem to be winding down, but the first Summer World University Games since Naples in 2019 is just in its first week in Chengdu, China. Postponed from its originally scheduled dates in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the long-awaited FISU Games have come out of the blocks strong and are making an impressive statement on behalf of the city of Chengdu, the country of China, and the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the world governing body for the Games. Read on to learn more about the start of this year’s World University Games Summer, and the first test event for your North Carolina Organizing Committee (NCOC) for the 2029 FISU World University Games.

Chengdu Impresses

Chengdu, China, is a city of over 20 million in population, located in west central China. Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan province and is considered the hub for western China. The city has a rich history dating back over 3,100 years, and is best known internationally as the home of the Giant Pandas. More than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Chengdu, the city features 16 foreign consulates, and Chengdu is home to the largest building in the world by square footage: the New Century Global Center, with 18 stories and more than 18 million square feet of space, including retail stores, movie theaters, offices, hotels, a water park, and skating rink.

The NCOC currently has two representatives attending the Games, Dragomir Cioroslan of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and Shannon Mizell, of International Broadcast Solutions. Both are highly experienced event and Olympic sport specialists, who are on site in Chengdu, to further build relations among FISU leaders and other Games Organizing Committees, as well as to participate in FISU’s Official Observer Program at the Games. Dragomir and Shannon will bring back copious notes, numerous photos, various videos, and lots of information that will assist North Carolina USA in hosting the best possible Games in 2029.

The Chengdu FISU World University Games Summer officially kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies last Friday night, July 28, and according to Dragomir and Shannon who attended, it was an “amazing and spectacular opening.” Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, together with Leonz Eder, FISU Acting President, declared the Games open, and, thus, the 31st Summer World University Games officially got underway.

The Chengdu Games feature 18 sports – Archery, Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Diving, Fencing, Judo, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Rowing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo, and Wushu – and 269 medal events over 13 days of competition, concluding on Tuesday, August 8. The United States delegation of 340 athletes is led by the US International University Sports Federation President, Dan Guerrero, himself a former athlete in the Games. The United States has a very strong record of success in the World University Games, with more than 1,354 medals through the years!

Dragomir Cioroslan & Shannon Mizell at the Opening Ceremony of the Chengdu FISU Summer World University Games


First Test Event for 2029 Successfully Held in Greensboro

The FISU World University Games In North Carolina USA may be 6 years away, but preparations have already begun to test venues, volunteers, and event operations for the Games. From Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23, the NCOC helped host the 2023 USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor National Championships at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. North Carolina A&T’s Truist Stadium features a new Mondo world-class track and will be the host venue for Athletics, or Track & Field, for the 2029 FISU World University Games.

The event helped the WUG test event lineup get off to an outstanding start as the meet was the largest in the 55-year history of the Masters National Championships, with 1,587 registered athletes representing 209 teams. Athletes hailed from every state in the union as well as 24 international countries. There were 5 Olympians, 48 Masters World Champions, 24 Masters World Record Holders, and 24 Masters Hall of Famers in the Championships.

To ensure this largest-ever Masters Nationals went as smoothly as possible, a major team effort was needed, which involved USA Track & Field, USATF North Carolina, the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greensboro Sports Foundation, North Carolina A&T State University, the Triangle Sports Commission, and Sports & Properties, Inc. Most all of these same organizations will also be involved in organization and execution of the 2029 FISU World University Games.

Jerry Bookin-Weiner, President of USA Track & Field Masters, gave a nice shout-out in the local media to the University, the Greensboro organizations, and the Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Hill Carrow, for facilitating a well-run event that got numerous strong, positive reviews from the athletes. The Organizing Committee extends special thanks to Jerry Bookin-Weiner, Robert Thomas, Sandy Pashkin, and Bill Murray of the USATF Masters Committee; Henri Fourrier, Kayla Adams, Michele Withrow, and Ellen Scaturchio of the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau; Richard BeardDemp Bradford, and Veronica Hutfles of the Greensboro Sports Foundation; Billy Edringston and Danyel Williams of NC A&T; and Roger Burbage and Al Davis of USATF North Carolina; Andrew Blattner, Michael Conte, Shane Elliott, and Grayson Haiges of the Organizing Committee staff; and the 50 or so hard-working volunteers who helped make the 2023 USATF Masters Outdoor Nationals such a success.

Men’s 200 Meter Finals at the 2023 USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor National Championships


Sports Briefs

Women’s World Cup has the planet’s attention right now and Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill are well-represented in the global event. Duke has three players – Kayla McKenna on the Jamaica team, Quinn on Team Canada, and Toni Payne, playing for Nigeria; while Carolina is represented by six players and one head coach. Katie Bowen is playing for New Zealand; Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo, and Lottie Wubben-Moy are competing for England; and Crystal Dunn and Emily Fox are representing Team USA. England’s Head Coach, Sarina Wiegman, is also a UNC graduate and Women’s Soccer veteran; while Emily Fox currently plays right here in central North Carolina for the league-leading NC Courage of the Women’s Professional Soccer League.

The World Aquatics Championships have been taking place over the last few weeks in Fukuoka, Japan, and NC State University’s Katharine Berkoff took home the bronze medal in the 100 meter backstroke.

In Baseball action, the USA Baseball National Collegiate Team closed out its Friendship Series with Chinese Taipei at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (a World University Games venue) in early July. Nearby at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, USA Baseball hosted its National Team Championships for both 15U and 14U.


Don’t Forget to Shop Local and Support the WUG

It’s been only 60 days since our new online store opened with 2029 FISU World University Games t’s, polos, hoodies, tanks, caps, and more. Items come in a wide variety of colors, and the store has proven to be quite a popular online shopping destination since it went live May 31. Don’t miss your opportunity to show your support of the 2029 FISU World University Games and snag some excellent quality, name-brand clothing and caps to boot!

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