The 31st edition of the FISU Summer World University Games kicked off in Chengdu, China, on 28 July, after being postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking place at the Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium, the opening ceremony started off with a mesmerising fireworks display before the national delegations parade.
After Chinese President Xi Jinping officially declared the FISU World University Games in Chengdu open, an array of cultural performances took over the arena, highlighting local heritage elements such as the Sun and Immortal Birds Gold Ornament and the ancient Shu embroidery style.
FISU (Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire) is the International University Sports Federation, an international body responsible for the organization and governance of worldwide sports competitions for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 25. Since its founding in 1949, it has been the key driver to expand the role and reach of university sport around the world.
With an ethos of sports values and sports practice working in perfect synchronicity within one’s university studies, FISU also promotes healthy living on campuses through its Healthy Campus programme and encourages the development of a progressive society through its educational events.
2. World University Games
Previously called the Universiade (University + Olympiad) the FISU World University Games is the largest international multi-sport event for student-athletes and the second largest international multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. Every two years, FISU choses two host cities to organise the winter and summer editions of the FISU Games, consisting of sport competitions, conferences and legacy projects for the host’s region.
Embracing the FISU motto of Excellence in Mind and Body, the summer edition of the FISU World University Games incorporates educational and cultural aspects, encouraging student-athletes from around the world to combine high sports performance with their intellectual pursuits.
3. Chengdu 2021
After being postponed for two years due to the pandemic, from 28 July to 8 August, the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games will bring together over 6,500 student-athletes, aged 17-25, from 1,500 universities and over 100 countries. The 31st FISU Summer Games will see the world’s best student-athletes compete for 269 gold medals in 18 sports.
The twelve-day competition includes 15 compulsory sports, to which organisers may add up to three optional sports from the FISU Recognised Sports list and the FISU World University Championships programme to keep the Games at the forefront of sports development and innovation. This year, the 3 additional sports are Rowing, Shooting Sport and Wushu.
Capital of the Sichuan Province, Chengdu has already taken advantage of hosting the summer 2021 event by boosting its own sports IP as the city builds itself into a world-famous city of sports events.
We have no doubt that Chengdu 2021 will prove to be an exceptional World University Games host that will make a lasting and very positive impression both on the participants and on the city itself.Oleg Matytsin, FISU President
“Twenty percent of the world’s university students are in China and the national university sports federation has a clear and proven capability of holding student sports events of the very highest quality, even at relatively short notice”, said FISU President Oleg Matytsin.
Combining great strides in sports with the city’s time-honoured history ensures the student-athletes that travel to Chengdu for the event will enjoy a feast of food, sports and culture that will reverberate well beyond the field of place and the events of the day.