FISU heads into 2022 with optimism and excitement as many events are expected to take place this year starting with the FISU World University Championship Ski Orienteering in Jachymov (CZE) on 22-26 February. The Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games is one event many are excitedly waiting for, following its postponement from August 2021 to 2022. Summer sport athletes from around the world will head to China from 26 June – 7 July 2022 for the first FISU Games since the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade.
Anticipation is already mounting for the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games through promotional events underway from its Organising Committee. Music has played a big part in these promotional efforts, first at the Music Gala held on 29 October 2021 that was watched by students from more than 100 universities across China. On 7 January 2022, more music was in the air as a performance of the promotional song Together Forever took place at the China College Students Television Festival. One of the singers, Yang Fuyi, noted that both the festival and the FISU World University Games are built on encouraging the spirit of youthfulness and perseverance. The #USportChallengeshowed those same traits with 20 winners selected out of the 50,000 videos submitted from people around the world showing how they feel better through their sporting activities. Additionally, plans for the Flame Exhibition Tour have been announced that will solicit online torch and FISU flame relay stories and content from around the world. These are but just a few events that have been planned to build excitement leading up to the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games opening ceremony on 26 June.
Along with the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games, it will be a very busy and active year on the calendar. Six FISU University World Cups and 15 FISU World University Championships are scheduled to take place, with the London, Ontario (CAN) 2023 FISU World University Championship Rowing moving to July 2023. These will truly be global events with 18 different countries playing host, including two new host nations: Kosovo and Argentina. Two more sports, powerlifting and finswimming, will join the FISU sport programme in 2022 taking place in Moscow (RUS) and Lignano Sabbiadoro (ITA) respectively. One other exciting development is seeing FISU combat sports of boxing, karate, muaythai, sambo, wrestling, and wushu merge to become the FISU University World Cup Combat Sportswhich will take place in Ekaterinburg (RUS) in late September. Each of these sports previously had their own FISU World University Championship but now together create a dynamic festival of sport in the host city of the Ekaterinburg 2023 FISU Games.
Educational events will play a major role in the FISU calendar in 2022 following the successful FISU Webinars in December 2021 on women in sport, dual career, and digitalisation. The FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy will train volunteers from all over the world online on 17 June and in person on 2-8 September in Kazan (RUS). Student-athletes and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate the next edition of the International Day of University Sports (IDUS) on 20 September. This celebration enables the exchange of ideas, best practices, challenges, and opportunities within and through university sport worldwide. To wrap up the year, the Costa Rica 2022 FISU World Forum will take place in December focusing on the theme of university sport as a driver for sustainable development.
With all these many and diverse activities, 2022 promises to be a very eventful and exciting year for FISU. The new FISU University World Cup Combat Sports and the long-anticipated Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games highlight the year that also includes many educational events, the 2022 FISU World Championships and 2022 FISU World Cups. It goes without saying that the last two years have been challenging, but as the 2022 calendar demonstrates, this year promises to be a positive and hopeful one for FISU.