USA Swimming Won’t Send Team To 2023 World University Games In Chengdu

Originally published Jan 17, 2023

USA Swimming won’t be sending a team to this year’s World University Games in Chengdu, China, and is implementing a new plan moving forward that will see the national governing body only field one team per quad to the Games.

A USA Swimming spokesperson recently confirmed the new plan to SwimSwam and added that it will only send a team “if we feel the locations provide the best opportunities for our athletes.”

USA Swimming has not provided an explanation of the reasoning behind the new policy as of the publication of this article.

The World University Games, which feature a summer and winter edition during the same year biennially, hasn’t had a summer version occur since 2019.

The 2021 event was initially pushed from 2021 to 2022, and then postponed a second time until 2023, due to the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

Similar to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that took place in 2021, the Games are still be branded as “Chengdu 2021” despite the event taking place in 2023.

Prior to the second postponement, USA Swimming said that it wouldn’t send a team to the 2022 edition, shifting its quad plan to focus on fielding a team in 2023.

Now, with the event getting postponed a second time, USA Swimming said it will now look to send a squad in 2025, which is scheduled to take place in Rhine-Ruhr, Germany.

With USA Swimming opting not to send a team, there will likely be an opportunity for top college and university programs to apply to represent the U.S. at the event, which was the case last year prior to the postponement.

The 2023 Winter World University Games are currently ongoing in Lake Placid, N.Y., running from Jan. 12-22.

The Chengdu 2021 Summer Games are scheduled for July 28-Aug. 8, 2023.

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Animal Advocate
5 days ago

Don’t send American Olympic athletes to ANY countries that farm, torture , kill and eat Dogs and Cats. Humans do not need to kill and eat ANY Animal. A VEGAN diet is more than sufficient to live and thrive. History, legacy, culture, heritage, and tradition , are nothing but cruel excuses to permit the murder of precious Animals .
Let the Animals live. Animal lives Matter.
Animal Advocate🐾💜

12 days ago

Why is China being allowed to host?

Reply to  Orange
12 days ago

The same dirty money as usual

12 days ago

USAS sends LC teams to short course worlds because LC performance is the biggest goal they’re chasing, and athletes who have been on an international team perform better at the Olympics than those who haven’t. Well here is an international LC meet that would give athletes who have a shot to make an Olympic team to get valuable experience if they miss out on the 2023 worlds team. USAS chooses to pass up the opportunity though, because they don’t want to foot the bill.

Reply to  oxyswim
12 days ago

USAS doesn’t want to send a team to China. Full stop.

12 days ago

Yet another disappointment and missed opportunity for those who started college in 2019 and 2020. These student athletes have missed out/changed plans/adapted so much in the last few years and now they lose out on this event as well. Bad decision, USA swimming.

Reply to  Swimmom24
12 days ago

You are spot on!, USA Swimming has totally hosed the class of 2019 and 2020. The only thing the Class of 2020 Junior national team members received was a free T-Shirt, mailed to the wrong address! No Camp, No Meet’s NOTHING! Now take this away from them. Thank you USA swimming!

Reply to  SWIMFAN
11 days ago

You want these kids to go to China? Home of the pandemic and human rights violations?

Reply to  Swimmom
11 days ago

You should spend your energy to stop all the injustice faced by minorities in this country now instead of coming here to sound so bigoted, if you really care about human rights.

Reply to  Swimmom
10 days ago

schubert seems to like it.

12 days ago


Gregarious Gee
12 days ago

I wish that more countries would follow this lead. China has been called out for cheating in aquatics. The whereabouts of the tennis player who accused a high profile CCP member of sexual assault is also unknown. Keep sports events out of China

Reply to  Gregarious Gee
12 days ago


Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Gregarious Gee
12 days ago

Agreed. China was scheduled to host the World Indoor Track and Field Championships this March. It was postponed again until 2025. I hope the World Athletics Council comes to its senses and removes it completely. But that will never happen, due to the almighty bribe

Old Bruin
Reply to  Gregarious Gee
11 days ago

Substitute “keep sports events out of China” with “boycott the Olympics because of x” and tell me, do you have the same take? These kids, are they political pawns, or do you think they worked hard and should have every opportunity afforded them by the USOPC? I’m guessing Mike Bottom or Rowdy Gaines might have an opinion on that….

I have no idea how the WUGs work, or how they choose the team, but the kids who could’ve qualified for it should be given the opportunity to qualify for and attend another international trip somewhere else. A World Cup or whatever. Our contingent boycotting WUGs in China (if that’s really why, and it isn’t just a financial or budgetary FU)… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Old Bruin
12 days ago

Ask for further clarification. It has more to do with being in China than anything else.

12 days ago

Is there a limit to how many college teams could go if multiple apply? Also, World Championships is the week before this meet so it would be interesting to see which college program have top-end talent off the Worlds roster that would be interested in attending WUG’s. Wonder if any swimmers would head to WC’s in Japan and go to WUG’s right afterwards in China.

Reply to  PhillyMark
12 days ago

There is a limit to the roster size. I don’t think FISU puts any restrictions on how the host nations select those teams.

In lots of team sports, they grab an NCAA team (this has become kind of a cool thing in basketball) and send them over. That makes sense. It makes a little less sense in swimming, but starting with a base team and maybe supplementing it could work.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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