The 2021 Summer Universiade, known in some nations as the World University Games, has shifted its schedule slightly to accommodate the new dates of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
After the IOC announced on Monday that the 2020 Olympics will be held from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021, FISU, the organization that oversees the Universiade, announced that it would shift its biannual summer event back by 2 days. The original dates of the World University Games were August 16th-27th, while the new dates are August 18th-29th. The event will be held in Chengdu, China.
“2021 promises to be a great Summer of international multisport competition of the very highest level,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin. “Many Olympians are also World University Games participants, and they now have the opportunity to prepare for two major multisport competitions in Asia in the same timeframe.”
“By confirming these revised dates today, FISU is happy to contribute a measure of certainty for student-athletes and National University Sports Federations, as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” continued Matytsin. “We remain deeply grateful to our friends and colleagues in China for their continued support of university sport as they prepare for what promises to be an exceptional World University Games.”
The summer version of the World University Games has been held in almost every odd-numbered year since 1959 (with the exception of 1970, instead of 1969 and 1971 events). The events are meant as an international competition bringing together the top university student-athletes from around the world. While some countries send their top rosters, others, including USA Swimming, subordinate the event to other major international competitions. Given that the World University Games usually fall in the same year as the FINA World Championships (for which new dates have not been set), the proximity to the Olympic Games doesn’t have to drastically change most countries’ approaches to entries, for swimming at least.
FISU pointed out that maintaining the summer 2021 timing for the event will both allow national university federations to “maintain their operational and financial plans for the World University Games” and “will ensure student athletes face no eligibility challenges.”
To be eligible to compete at the Universiade, athletes must be between the ages of 17 and 25 and either be currently officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute recognized by the appropriate national authority, or former students who have obtained their academic degree or diploma in the calendar year preceding the event.
Smaller countries (fewer than 2 million inhabitants or 5,000 university students) have special regulations that require that students be attending their institutions for at least 2 years.
The 2021 World University Games will have 268 medal events across 18 sports.
After Chengdu, the next edition will be held in Yekaterinburg, Russia from August 8th-19th, 2023.