May: World University Games Update

With all local college graduations having taken place earlier this month and with the Carolina Hurricanes no longer in the NHL playoffs, you would think that the sports activity in the region would slow down. In fact, however, it seems to be just the opposite with a number of NCAA regional, super-regional, and national championships all taking place here locally, along with special events such as the upcoming The Soccer Tournament and US Open Golf. With all that sports experience and expertise, and outstanding venues, it’s why North Carolina makes such a great host for the 2029 World University Games.

North Carolina Collegians Prepare for the Paris Olympic Games

While many North Carolina-connected Olympic hopefuls (we’ve identified 66 thus far) await their chances to qualify for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris at one of the upcoming Olympic Trials in Swimming and Track & Field, a number of past and present North Carolina university students have already qualified for the Games and a number of them will be representing other countries.

Two former Duke University Field Hockey Players, Leah Crouse and Jillian Wolgemuth, have been named to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Field Hockey Team. A third former Blue Devil, Rose Tynan, will be competing for the New Zealand Women’s Field Hockey Team.

Two NC State University swimmers, David Betlehem, and Bart Piszczorowicz, have been named to the Men’s Olympic Swimming and Diving Teams for Hungary and Poland respectively. Meanwhile, teammate Betti Fabian, will be competing for Hungary’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Team in Paris.

At UNC Chapel Hill, multiple-time NCAA Champion and First Team All-American diver, Aranza Vazquez, will participate in Paris on the Mexico Women’s Olympic Swimming and Diving Team. This will be Aranza’s second Olympics, having represented Mexico in Diving in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, taking 6th place in the 3-meter springboard event.

Patrick Hussey, also a member of the UNC Swimming and Diving Team, will be competing in Paris. A veteran of the World Aquatic Championships and Commonwealth Games, Patrick will be a member of the Team Canada Olympic Swimming and Diving Team.

Similar to Field Hockey, USA Canoe/Kayak has also selected its Olympic Teams for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Evy Leibfarth, a North Carolina native and a student at Davidson College, will compete on the US Olympic Canoe/Kayak Team in Paris. This will be the second Olympics for Evy as she was also in the Tokyo Olympics, placing 12th in the Women’s K1 event.

Athletes are not the only star university students from North Carolina at the Paris Olympic Games. 25 students from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism will be on site in Paris, paired with North Carolina news outlets, to help provide onsite coverage of the Games!

News Briefs

Sports Tourism: In April, the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), the United States’ national sports tourism trade association which was founded and incorporated here in North Carolina, published its annual State of the Industry Report indicating that Sports Tourism during 2023 had a direct spending impact of $52.5 billion, which in turn generated a total economic impact of $128 billion. The industry supported almost 758,000 full- and part-time jobs and contributed more than $20 billion in taxes across the U.S.

Men’s Tennis: Duke University hosted NCAA Regionals First and Second Rounds at their home courts at Ambler Tennis Center. After winning both rounds, the Men’s Team traveled to Ft. Worth where they lost in the Super Regionals.

Women’s Tennis: Earlier this month, ACC Women’s Tennis Champions, UNC Chapel Hill hosted the NCAA Championships First, Second, and Third Rounds at Chewning Tennis Center on the UNC campus. The Tar Heels won the First and Second Round tournaments, but lost in the third round. UNC’s doubles team of Fiona Crawley and Carson Tanquilia made it to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Stillwater, Oklahoma, before bowing out of the Championships. Meanwhile, a stellar NC State Women’s Team also hosted NCAA Regional First and Second Round action on its home courts at Isenhour Tennis Center. NCSU won both rounds before being beaten by Stanford at Stanford in the Super Regionals. NCSU had four players advance to the individual and doubles championships in Stillwater – Sophie Abrams, Amelia Rajecki, Maddy Zampardo, Anna Zyryanova; with Rajecki advancing as far as the semi-finals.

Men’s Baseball: Three WUG2029 Host University Baseball Teams made the NCAA Tournament – ACC Champion Duke, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill, and both NC State and UNC Chapel Hill are hosting NCAA Regional Tournaments this weekend.

Women’s Softball: Last weekend, Duke University hosted the Softball NCAA Regionals where Duke’s Women’s Softball Team prevailed. As a result, the Duke team is in its first-ever Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City where competition got underway yesterday.

US Olympic Festival Ties: Earlier this spring, UNC named the lobby of Carmichael Arena for Beth Miller, former Senior Woman Administrator in the Athletic Department. We remember Beth as a former member of our 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival Board of Directors. The Olympic Festival was the first mega-event ever held in North Carolina and still holds the record as the largest event ever held in our state. Our goal, of course, is to set a new record with the hosting of the 2029 World University Games!

Hall of Fame: Capitol Broadcasting Company, 2029 FISU World University Games Silver Partner, is a Class of 2024 Inductee into the North Carolina Media & Journalism Hall of Fame.

Host Cities: Last month, two WUG2029 Host Cities, Greensboro and Raleigh, were named among U.S. News Real Estate Top 25 Places to Live in the United States.

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.