Naples Universiade On Par With The Olympics, Athletes Say

Alexsandra Arlia (July 19, 2019)
From July 3rd-July 14th, Naples was the world’s stage for the 30th biennial Summer Universiade sports event.

In regards to universal sport competitions, we have the Olympics, we have the World Cup, and this past week, we celebrated as Naples hosted the 30th Summer Universiade sporting event. Highlighting 118 countries and 18 different sports, the worldwide university-focused sports competition ran from July 3rd to July 14th 2019. 

The event impacted the participating teams as well as the hosting Italian Campania region as a whole, with accolades, refurbished facilities, and an uplifting morale as participants and spectators alike were brought together to celebrate their accomplishments and respective nations.

Contestants included Olympic athletes Janine Berger of Germany, Dutee Chand of India, and Ayomide Folorunso of Italy, who all agreed was an equipollent to the Olympics. The Universiade athletes were treated to occupancy on two cruise ships docked in Naples in lieu of an Athletes Village, and were reportedly happy with the outcome of the event, with it being “remembered as a big success.” 

The athletes were not the only ones receiving special treatment that week, however. With approximately 300,000 tickets sold, people from all over the world enjoyed the games in-person, and the people of Naples and Campania were left with newly renovated venues that were invested into for the games, with many left completely abandoned. The newly improved facilities are now mostly set for sporting club, school and university use. 

Italians as well have much to be proud of, as their team is responsible for 15 gold medals, 13 silver medals, and 16 bronze medals, marking Italy’s all-time best performance in the Summer Universiade games. As stated by the President of International University Sports Federation, Oleg Matysen, “the games have given a new impulse to this region,” and in regards to the event and its impact as a whole ”this is a legacy.”