The opportunity to represent the United States on the international stage is open for current collegiate swimmers and recent graduates at the Summer World University Games in 2023.
The competition, originally scheduled to take place in August 2021, has now been postponed multiple times due to the COVID pandemic and is slated to run this year in Chengdu, China, from July 28 – August 8.
Just like last year’s event before it was postponed, USA Swimming has opted not to send a roster to the competition in 2023, though the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) will be sending a delegation and is now seeking swimmers and coaches willing to represent their country.
The swimming competition will run for seven days, from August 1-7, with medals on the line across 42 events.
US-IUSF said it hopes to have 200-300 athletes competing across 18 sports at the Games, which are still being branded as “Chengdu 2021” despite taking place in 2023.
“We recognize that some athletes and their parents may be uneasy about competing in China, but the process should be simpler this year since China’s Covid and travel restrictions are now almost non-existent,” US-IUSF spokesperson David Knopp told SwimSwam.
“For background, Chengdu has shown incredible commitment and dedication by spending billions of dollars to upgrade its facilities and infrastructure to host this World University Games event. As one of its country’s largest cities, Chengdu will draw on China’s overall depth of experience in hosting global sporting events, as well as two extra years of preparation due to postponements.”
One benefit of the Games being postponed multiple times is that the eligibility requirements have widened, as now college graduates from 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be able to compete, along with currently enrolled students.
Without the national governing body (USA Swimming) covering costs, the expenses will be borne by the participating swimmers. It will cost $2,595 per swimmer to attend.
“With so few international collegiate competitions the last few years, this truly will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for student-athletes and coaches that will be well worth the expense,” Knopp said.
There are no specific time standards or requirements in order to be eligible to compete. Knopp added that they are open to swimmers from various teams and clubs.
The 2023 edition will mark the only Summer WUGs to be conducted in a six-year span due to the multiple postponements. The last time the Summer edition was held was in Naples in 2019, where the U.S. topped the medal table with 19 gold and 40 total medals won in the pool. Future Olympic and world champions such as Zach Apple, Justin Ress, Katharine Berkoff and Dakota Luther won individual gold for the American team that year.
Anyone interested in the opportunity can contact USA Team’s David Knopp here.