After announcing the dates for the rescheduled World University Games earlier this week, FISU has now announced the two host cities for the 2025 edition of the Games.
For the summer edition of the Games, the competition will be taking place in North Rhine-Ruhr in Germany. Competition there will be split among multiple cities including Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Essen, Bochum, and Krefeld. This won’t be the region’s first time hosting the event, as the Universiade was held in Duisburg in 1989 on short notice after Sao Paulo, Brazil was forced to withdraw due to economic issues. The city also served as the host to the World Games in 2005, with 31 official and 6 invitational sports not contested at the Olympics competing in the city.
Jorg Forster, chairman of the German University Sports Federation, said of FISU’s decision to grant the Games to his country:
“We are very happy with the trust placed in us and the decision of FISU, which is of historic importance for German University Sports and for German Sorts as a whole. We will seize this opportunity and together with our partners we will host this major event and combine sport and science in an exemplary way. The conceptual focus of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games will be on social, ecological, and economic sustainability topics as well as on innovation and participation. With these main aspects and the close involvement of the academic fields during the preparations and implementation of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games can serve as an incubator for processes of change in sport and in the metropolitan region of Rhine-Ruhr. Apart from this, they should provide longer-term development impulses in society as a whole – especially in regard to intensive involvement of students.”
Earlier in the year, the winter edition of the Games will also be taking place in Europe, in Turin, Italy. Like Rhine-Ruhr, they have recent experience in hosting large-scale athletic events, having played host to the 2007 World University Games. Those Games saw 55 nations competing in the Northern Italy town, with South Korea leading in gold medals (10) and Russia finishing with the highest total medal count (35).
The largest student-athlete competition in the world, the World University Games frequently feature more athletes competing than even the Olympic Games. In 2015, the Games saw a record 12,885 athletes take part in the competition, more than participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In 2019 the number was less than half of that due to a last-minute location change from Brazil to Italy.