June 2023: World University Games Update

Summer has officially arrived as of last week and while many may be planning on upcoming vacations or travel to the coast, mountains, overseas, or elsewhere, the U.S. International University Sports Federation (USIUSF), the international university sport member governing body in the United States and our North Carolina Organizing Committee partner for the 2029 FISU World University Games, is busy planning travel for our USA Team to compete in the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, China, beginning next month. Read on for information on this year’s Games preparations as well as local activities for our North Carolina USA Organizing Committee.

NCFC & NC Courage Celebrate NCSA Sponsors and Supporters

Last weekend, on Saturday night, June 24th, at WakeMed Soccer Park, the North Carolina Football Club and the NC Courage hosted a large contingent of our 2029 FISU World University Games supporters on the Party Deck at the game between the NC Courage and Racing Louisville FC. There was beautiful weather, excellent food, a great game, and a special occasion – as it was Cary Night at the game!

NCFC and the NC Courage wanted to show their appreciation for the extensive team effort that went into winning the 2029 FISU World University Games bid for our local region and the United States. Towards that end the Courage wanted to celebrate our numerous bid sponsors and a number of our bid Leadership Team. Sponsor executives attending included Hadley Calloway of Cary Orthopaedic; Francie Gottsegen of the NC Courage; Nan Hannah of Hannah Sheridan & Cochran Law Firm; Kerry Grace Heckle of UNC Health; Mark Lawson of the Cary Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Sanita of Hummingbird Creative Group, Caleb Smith and Vinny Smith of Triangle eSports Academy; and Smedes York, long-time Raleigh Mayor and head of York Properties.

Members of our North Carolina USA Leadership Team attending included Stan CampbellHill Carrow, Chuck Lovelace, and Marcus Manning, with staff and intern participants Michael Conte, Andrew Blattner, Shane Elliott, and Grayson Haiges.

We are especially grateful to have been joined by North Carolina FC and NC Courage principal owner, Steve Malik, and to have had a chance to visit with Cary Mayor, Harold Weinbrecht, both of whom were major supporters of our North Carolina USA Bid and are big fans of the 2029 Games!

Preparations Underway for USA Team in Chengdu

Chengdu, China, will host this year’s FISU World University Games Summer starting Friday, July 28, and concluding Tuesday, August 8, 2023. Chengdu is a very large city with a population of over 16 million. It is located in central China and is the capital of the Sichuan Province. While Chengdu may be most famous for its Giant Panda Breeding Research Base where people come from all over the world to view giant pandas in their natural habitat, it is also a major business city that is home to 260 Fortune 500 companies.

Chengdu was originally selected by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) to host the 2021 World University Games, but due to postponement by the pandemic is now slated to host the Games this summer. The Chengdu Games will feature more than 10,000 participants in 18 sports contested at 45 different venues. The Chendgu Organizing Committee recently announced that more than 20,000 volunteers will be assisting the Games.

The United States of America will have more than 300 in its official delegation representing our country at the Games. In next month’s newsletter and particularly in our July and August social media, we hope to highlight some of the USA athletes and support staff at the Games.

Collegiate Athlete Update

Outside the region, the NCAA Division I Track & Field national Championships were held in Austin, Texas, June 7-10, 2023. Thirty-six athletes from host institutions of the World University Games, including Duke, NC A&T State, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill competed in the Championships. Top 10 finishers included Duke athletes, Amina Maatoug (Women’s 1500m) and Zorawar Otal (Men’s Discus); NC A&T athlete Reheem Hayles (Men’s 400m); NC State’s Kelsey Chmiel (Women’s 5000m), Katelyn Tuohy (Women’s 1500m), and Amris Tyynismaa (Women’s 5000m); and UNC Chapel Hill competitors Jesse Hunt (Men’s 1500m), Craig Saddler (Men’s 400m Hurdles), Madison Wiltrout (Women’s Javelin), and Parker Wolfe (Men’s 5000m).

Big June for Major Sports Events in the Region

June kicked off with a bang with The Soccer Tournament, a first-time global event billed as the World Championships of 7v7 Soccer, held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, one of our 2029 FISU World University Games competition venues, June 1-4, 2023. The event drew more than 35,000 fans to cheer on teams ranging from Chelsea to Charlotte FC, and featured some of the most famous soccer players and coaches in the world including Mia Hamm (World University Games alum), Kristine Lilly (another World University Games alum), Landon Donovan, and many more all competing for the $1 million first prize, which was won by Newtown Pride of Newtown, Connecticut.

Almost simultaneously in Cary, the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championships kicked off on June 3 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, one of our training venues for the 2029 Games, and continued through June 10. The national champion was Angelo State University, located in San Angelo, Texas.

Only two Olympic Sport Governing bodies have their headquarters in North Carolina, and we are fortunate that USA Baseball has its home in Cary, amidst our University Hub host region for the 2029 World University Games. The activity this month at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (USAB NTC) in Cary has been nothing short of amazing.

USA Baseball NTC-hosted events following the NCAA D-II Championships: USA Baseball National Team Championships (17U), a 16-team tournament for the 17U age group, June 13-16; the USA Baseball Futures Invitational, June 15-18, featuring 16 teams with top 10U talent; and the USA Baseball National Team Championships (16U) 16-team tournament for the 16U age group, June 20-23.

This month of major USA Baseball events concluded with the Collegiate Team National Training Camp June 23, followed by the Stars vs. Stripes series, June 25-28, and the month wraps up in a big way with the 20th Annual International Friendship Series Game between USA and Chinese Taipei at the USA Baseball NTC tomorrow night.

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