June World University Games

June: World University Games Update

It’s very exciting times in the in the United States in the world of Olympic sports as Olympic Trials in Swimming, Diving, Track & Field, and Gymnastics all take place or start in June. On the last day of the Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis last week, NBC posted a graphic on the broadcast showing the universities represented by those making the Olympic Team, led by the University of Virginia, Stanford, Cal Berkeley, Florida, and University of Texas. Given all the recent unsettling changes in NCAA collegiate athletics, Commentator Rowdy Gaines stressed the critical nature of university sports and maintaining the U.S. collegiate athletics system, especially when it comes to the sport of swimming (and others). Rowdy said that university swimming in the US is essential to producing top tier swimmers on our United States Olympic Team – and the Olympic Teams of many other countries of the world as well! Hopefully most everyone in America is aware that university sports are a large, exciting, fast growing and big-money sports industry sector, but it is always good to hear confirmation of the sector’s significant value from knowledgeable and respected sources like NBC.

North Carolina Collegians Prepare for the Paris Olympic Games

Durham County and RTP

The Durham County Board of Commissioners unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution on Monday, June 10, at their final Board meeting of the fiscal year, in support of the 2029 World University Games. The resolution was introduced and read by Commissioner Brenda Howerton, who was also a member of the North Carolina USA Delegation in Lake Placid, NY, when the Games were awarded to North Carolina in 2023. The resolution commits the County to significant financial and in-kind support of the Games. “The World University Games is a huge win for our region and state,” said Howerton. “Participants and fans from all over the world will be right here in Durham and Durham County, in downtown at the Bulls Ballpark, and at NC Central, Duke, and Durham Tech – staying in hotels, dining locally. The economic impacts and the worldwide broadcast coverage for our county are tremendously valuable and that is why Durham County is making this important investment in the 2029 World University Games.”

Joining Durham County as the latest Games Official Supporter is Research Triangle Park, through the generous commitment of the Research Triangle Foundation. Research Triangle Park, the major employment center for the Triangle region and one of the world’s largest research parks, is in the process of transforming itself with the development of Hub RTP, where, for the first time since the world-renowned research park was founded in the 1950’s, there will be residential living in the park. Hub RTP will include offices, apartments, a Marriott Renaissance Hotel, retail shops, and restaurants and is designed as a central gathering place not just for business and residents of the park, but also for the region at large.

“We are delighted to welcome two new Official Supporters to our 2029 Games sponsor team,” said Hill Carrow, Chairman & CEO of the 2029 World University Games. “We want to sincerely thank Scott Levitan, President & CEO, and Kelly Propst, VP of Marketing & Communications, at the Research Triangle Foundation for their commitment to this once-in-a-lifetime event. For Durham County, we want to express our gratitude to each County Commissioner, Nimasheena BurnsHeidi Carter, Brenda HowertonWendy Jacobs, and Chair Nida Allam, as well as County Manager Kimberley Sowell, for their unflinching support beginning amidst the Covid pandemic and now continuing for the next 5 years. These are the types of teammates who are going to help us make sure the 2029 World University Games are a major success!”

Team USA

North Carolina Connections at the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games

We’re going to have lots of hometown heroes to cheer for in France the next couple of months:


  • Olympic Swimming: Katharine Berkoff and Ryan Held, both of whom are NC State University and World University Games alums (Katharine in Naples, Italy, 2019; Ryan in Taipei, Taiwan, 2017) qualified in last week’s Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. Braden Holloway, Head Swimming Coach at NC State, who served as Team USA Assistant Coach at the 2017 World University Games followed by Head Coach in the 2019 WUG, will be Assistant Head Coach in Paris while Todd DeSorbo, former NCSU Associate Head Coach and former member of the Raleigh Area Masters Swim Team, will be Head Coach for the Women’s Team.
  • While we are on the subject of Olympic Swimming, the U.S. Team will be in Cary training at the Triangle Aquatic Center, our World University Games Water Polo venue, beginning on Monday, July 1st. You can watch their training and mingle with special guests at the Stars & Stripes Soiree hosted by the TAC Titans Swim Team on July 5th from 4:45-7:30pm at the aquatic center. For details, click here.
  • Olympic Diving: Andrew Capobianco of Holly Springs won the 3-Meter Springboard Competition at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials in Diving at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and will be competing in that discipline for Team USA at the 2024 Summer Olympics. This will be Andrew’s second Olympics as he won Silver in Synchro Springboard at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
  • Olympic Soccer: Casey Murphy, goalkeeper for the NC Courage Women’s Professional Soccer Team in Cary has been named to the 18-player U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team for the Paris Olympics. Joining Casey on the team will be Emily Fox, a UNC Chapel Hill graduate and soccer star, who also played for the Courage last year. Another Courage player, Kerolin Nicoli, the NWSL’s Most Valuable Player in 2023, will be playing for Brazil’s Olympic Team.


Hanna Adpden and Desmond Jackson headshots
  • Swimming: Hannah Aspden, a two-time Paralympian from Raleigh, will be vying for the US Team at the Paralympics in Paris, beginning with the Paralympic Swim Trials which start today in Minneapolis.
  • Track & Field: Desmond Jackson from Durham, also a two-time Paralympian, will be contending to make the U.S. Team in Paris once the Paralympic Trials get underway next Monday, July 1, in Miramar, FL.

An Award, a Promo, and an Outstanding International Student Project

Established in 1979, the Telly Awards are the premier awards honoring video and television across all screens. There were more than 13,000 entries this year from around the globe which are judged by a 250- member panel of industry experts. The North Carolina Organizing Committee for the 2029 Games won a Silver Telly for our video “North Carolina to Host the 2029 World University Games” in the category of Non-Broadcast Information. The video features North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Duke Coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski, and many well-known North Carolina sights and venues. Major kudos with a big thank you goes to Bryan Miller of Frontrunner Productions for producing the video. If you would like to view the award-winning video, click here.

Hopefully you enjoyed watching the NBC broadcast of the Swimming Olympic Trials and the great commentary by the always upbeat and enthusiastic, Rowdy Gaines. So while you are on the 2029 World University Games website homepage viewing our Telly Award video, check out the promo that Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines did for the 2029 World University Games. Just click here.

During May and June of this year, 6 international students from the EHL Hospitality Business School in LausanneSwitzerland, considered the premier school of its kind in the world, did a major project that resulted in an extensive Communications Plan for the 2029 World University Games. The quality of the final plan and the students’ presentations throughout was exceptional, and the end result is a valuable addition to the preparations for the 2029 World University Games. Our entire WUG2029 Team congratulates and thanks Kaiyun ChaoJingcheng HuVictoria Stent-TorrianiYerin WonLara Wurgler, and Liwen Zeng for their amazing and important achievement. And we don’t want to leave out their coach and advisor, Janet Shaner!

News Briefs

USA Baseball, headquartered in Cary, NC, has named the nation’s 16-best university student-athletes to its Collegiate National Team Training Camp and half the team comes from local universities, including AJ Gracia and Kyle Johnson of Duke; Jacob Dudan and Derrick Smith of NC State; Jason DeCaroMatthew Mattijs, and Luke Stevenson of UNC Chapel Hill; and Marek Houston of Wake Forest University.

Continuing with Baseball: During the month of June, the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, a training venue for the 2029 World University Games, hosted the 16U National Team Championships, the 14U National Team Championships, and the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championships. This was the 14th year that Cary has hosted the NCAA D-II National Championships!

Basketball Legend: The small town of Newland, NC, recently erected new road signs honoring its local legends and one of the biggest of those – both figuratively and physically – is Tom Burleson, star center of the 1974 NC State Wolfpack National Championship Team and an Olympian, but even more importantly in our eyes, Tommy is also a World University Games alum (1973, Moscow).

Airport Achievements: Among the nation’s Top 50 airports, Raleigh-Durham International had the highest percentage growth rate, 22% in 2023. Figures thus far this year show that RDU is on track to top the number of boardings (7.3 million) from last year.

Support the Games

Be a vital part of championing the world’s premier event for student-athletes! Bringing the 2029 World University Games to our state promises unparalleled economic advantages for our communities. Seize the chance to spotlight North Carolina on the global stage! Click below to explore the myriad of ways you can contribute and support the Games.

Don’t Forget to Shop Local and Support the WUG

Our online store features 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. Don’t miss your opportunity to show your support of the 2029 FISU World University Games by snagging some excellent quality, name-brand clothing and caps!

Sponsor Thank You’s

We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their strong belief in, and generous support of, the 2029 World University Games. We encourage you to patronize their businesses and give them your own personal thanks when you do.