Rich Perlman of the Sports Examiner is reporting that the United States is planning to launch a bid for the 2027 World University Games (Summer Universiade).
The World University Games, which has both a summer and winter version, is held every 2 years. With almost 6,000 athletes from 118 nations participating in 18 spots and 220 events in the last edition in 2019, it is the 2nd-largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympic Games. Prior editions have been even bigger, with the 2017 Games in Taipei (Taiwan) drawing more than 11,000 participants and the 2015 edition in Gwangju, South Korea drawing almost 13,000. By comparison, 11,238 athletes participated in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Designed for university students (which takes on different definitions in different countries), the summer event was hosted in the United States just once in its history: in 1993, when Buffalo, New York staged the event.
The US is scheduled to host the 2023 winter edition of the World University Games in Lake Placid, New York from January 12-22. The U.S. hosted the winter Games once before in Lake Placid in 1972, with just 410 athletes competing that year. 2019 attracted around 3,000 to the winter edition.
The United States is the most-decorated nation in the history of the event, having won 522 golds among 1,411 total medals in the event’s history. The next-closest nations are China (447 golds) and Russia (1,224 total medals).
The 2027 bid would be for the summer event.
According to Perlman, a conversation with two leaders of the US-IUSF organization that governs American participation in international university sport, the organization is looking to push forward its place in the American sports scene.
Specifically, that includes hosting duties.
The U.S. is also planning to participate in the 2021 Winter World University Games in Lucerne, Switzerland, in spite of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. That event is scheduled from January 21-31.
US-IUSF president Dan Guerrero hinted that the 2025 edition might be hosted in Germany.
2027 would mark the year before the U.S. hosts the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Recent/Future Hosts of the Summer Universiade
- 2011 – Shenzen, China (7,999 athletes, 165 countries)
- 2013 – Kazan, Russia (10,442 athletes, 162 countries)
- 2015 – Gwangju, South Korea (12,855 athletes, 142 countries)
- 2017 – Taipei, Chinese Taipei (11,397 athletes, 145 countries)
- 2019 – Naples, Italy* (5,971 athletes, 112 countries)
- 2021 – Chengdu, China (August 18-29)
- 2023 – Yekaterinburg, Russia (August 8-19)
*The 2019 edition was originally scheduled for Brasilia, but after financial problems, bidding was reopened.