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Universiade Budapest 1965

FISU History

The International University Sports Federation, FISU, developed within university institutions to propagate sports values and promote sports practice in perfect synergy and complementarity with the university spirit.

The Precursors

At the beginning of the 19th century, competitive sport took its first steps, guided by one of its precursors and the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. It was in the United States, England and Switzerland that the first inter-university meets were held. They gradually led to the emergence of university sports associations, the first of which came into being in the United States in 1905. Unlike the Olympic Movement, which had an international structure from 1894 onwards, the International Confederation of Students wasn't established until 1919. It was this organisation's Sports Committee that was to launch the first World University Games in 1923.

 

The Beginning

Jean PetitjeanJean PetitjeanFISU was officially formed in 1949, but its origin goes back to the 1920s when Frenchman Jean Petitjean organised the first 'World Student Games' in Paris in May 1923. The following year, the International Confederation of Students (ICS) associated itself with this movement. From 1925 to 1939, many great sporting events were organised by the students and the ICS: in Prague (1925), Rome (1927), again in Paris (1928), Darmstadt (1930), Turin (1933), Budapest (1935), Paris (1937), Monaco (1939). The Second World War interrupted these meets, but when peace was restored, France re-launched the World University Games.

 
1949: Creation of FISU

Dr. Paul SchleimerDr. Paul SchleimerThe peace was relative, and the shadow of the cold war soon divided university sport. In 1946, the International Students Union (ISU) was created in Prague to pursue the works of the International Confederation of Students, and it organised the 9th World University Games in 1947. After those games, the increasing politicisation of the ISU led to a division within the university sports movement. In 1948, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) was created under the impetus of Paul Schleimer of Luxembourg, and it launched the International University Sport Weeks in 1949 in Merano, Italy. Other editions followed: in Luxembourg (1951), Dortmund (1953) and San Sebastian (1955). In 1957, the French federation organised a World University Sports Championship which brought together students from the Eastern and Western blocks. From this meet arose the desire to organise a universal event in which students from all over the world could participate.

 

First Universiade

Dr. Primo NebioloDr. Primo NebioloIn 1959, FISU and the ISU agreed to participate in the games organised in Turin, Italy, by CUSI, the Italian Student Sports Association. That year was undoubtedly the one that left the biggest impression on our federation. In fact, the Italian organisers baptised these 1959 games 'Universiade'. They created the flag with a 'U' surrounded by stars, which was to begin its journey around the world, and replaced the national anthems at the medal-awarding ceremonies with Gaudeamus Igitur. The Universiade in Turin was a success for the local Executive Committee, as well as for the man who was to change the future of the university sports movement: Dr. Primo NEBIOLO. During this Universiade, which brought together 43 countries and 1,400 participants, many non-member federations applied to become members of FISU. However, even though university sport was developing in a peaceful environment, the modus vivendi still needed to be established. In addition to the agreement that had been made concerning national symbols (neither flags nor anthems) and the programme, FISU defined its philosophy in article 2 of its statutes by stipulating: 'FISU pursues its objects without consideration or discrimination of a political, denominational or racial nature'. From then on, FISU was to organise the games at worldwide level.

 

The Expansion of University Sport

Ever since this important period, the Universiades have continued to attract more and more participants. Starting with a total of 1,407 participants in Turin, Italy, in 1959, we reached a total of 6,757 participants from more than 165 countries in Beijing, China, in 2001, and 6,643 participants from 174 countries in Daegu, Korea, in 2003. The highest number of participants was registered at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, i.e. 11,759 representing 159 countries. The Winter Universiades experience the same success. In fact, our statistics show that 98 athletes participated in the games in Zell-Am-See, Austria, in 1958, while a record of 2,668 participants from 52 countries came to the Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy, in 2013. The expansion of university sport around the world created a new need for meets and competitions to complete the Universiade programme. As a consequence, FISU launched the World University Championships in the early sixties.
 Universiade Turin 1970
Universiade Turin 1970

Over 50 years, more than 300 championships have been organised, covering a large range of events (almost always different from the Universiade sports) and gathering  participants from all over the world. Meant to guarantee continuity in the competition programme, these championships take place on even-numbered years and experience an increasing success over the years. They allow a large number of students and university sports leaders to get together on occasions other than Universiades. In 2000, 20 World University Championships were held in different places for different sports, attracting 3,623 participants. In 2002, 24 World University Championships were held, attracting 4,228 participants from 83 countries. In 2010, 27 championships were staged, bringing together 4,431 participants. For 2014, 29 WUC were attributed.

Following a breathtaking 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan (RUS) where no more than eleven (11) Championship sports where present, as well as a successful year of World University Championships in 2012, where 27 events took place in 17 countries over 4 continents, the 2014 edition of WUCs is at hand.

Starting early March and running until mid-December, the 2014 World University Championships will include a FISU record equalling 29 events in a single year, this time in 24 countries and over the 5 continents (17 Europe, 8 Asia, 2 America, 1 Africa and 1 Oceania).

The Championships will take place for the first time in six countries, i.e. Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

 

The 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions of the Summer Universiade were attributed respectively to the cities of Gwangju (Korea), Taipei City (Tapei) and Brasilia (Brazil). The 2015 edition of the Winter Universiade has been attributed to Granada (Spain) whereas the 2017 and 2019 events will be held in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Krasnoyarsk (Russia) respectively.

FISU supports these competitions which give student-athletes the opportunity to come together from all around the world in a spirit of understanding and peace, with a view to obtaining results at high technical level.

Universiade Porto Alegre 1963
Universiade Porto Alegre 1963
Universiade Sofia 1961
Universiade Sofia 1961
 Pietro Menea (ITA) 200m world recorder
Pietro Menea (ITA) 200m world recorder

 

   

 

An Overview

1923 - 1938

Summer Student World Championships

1924

1st Summer Student World Championships (Warsaw)

1927

2nd Summer Student World Championships (Rome)

1928

3rd Summer Student World Championships (Paris)

1930

4th International University Games (Darmstadt)

1933

5th International University Games (Torino)

1935

6th International University Games (Budapest)

1937

7th International University Games (Paris)

1939

8th International University Games (Monaco)

Winter Student World Championships

1928

1st Winter International University Games (Cortina d'Ampezzo)

1930

2nd Winter International University Games (Davos)

1933

3rd Winter International University Games (Bardonecchia)

1935

4th Winter International University Games (St Mortiz)

1937

5th Winter International University Games (Zell am See)

1939

6th Winter International University Games (Lillehammer)

 

1949 - 1959

Summer

1949

1st Summer International University Sport Week - Merano

1951

2nd Summer International University Sport Week - Luxembourg

1953

3rd Summer International University Sport Week - Dortmund

1955

4th Summer International University Sport Week - San Sebastian

1957

World University Games - Paris

1959

1st Summer Universiade - Torino

Winter

1951

1st Winter International University Sport Week - Bad Gastein

1953

2nd Winter International University Sport Week - St Moritz

1955

3rd Winter International University Sport Week - Jahorina

1957

4th Winter International University Sport Week - Oberammergau

1959

5th Winter International University Sport Week - Zell am See

 

1961-1970

Summer

1961

2nd Summer Universiade - Sofia, Bulgaria

1963

3rd Summer Universiade - Porto Alegre, Brazil

1965

4th Summer Universiade - Budapest, Hungary

1967

5th Summer Universiade - Tokyo, Japan

1970

6th Summer Universiade - Torino, Italy

Winter

1960

1st Winter Universiade - Chamonix, France

1962

2nd Winter Universiade - Villars, Switzerland

1964

3rd Winter Universiade - Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechoslovakia

1966

4th Winter Universiade - Sestriere, Italy

1968

5th Winter Universiade - Innsbruck, Austria

1970

6th Winter Universiade - Rovaniemi, Finland

 

1971-1983

Summer

1973

7th Summer Universiade - Moscow, USSR

1975

8th Summer Universiade - Rome, Italy

1977

9th Summer Universiade - Sofia, Bulgaria

1979

10th Summer Universiade - Mexico City, Mexico

1981

11th Summer Universiade - Bucharest, Romania

1983

12th Summer Universiade - Edmonton, Canada

Winter

1972

7th Winter Universiade - Lake Placid, USA

1975

8th Winter Universiade - Livigno, Italy

1978

9th Winter Universiade - Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechoslovakia

1981

10th Winter Universiade - Jaca, Spain

1983

11th Winter Universiade - Sofia, Bulgaria

 

1985-1997

Summer

1985

13th Summer Universiade - Kobe, Japan

1987

14th Summer Universiade - Zagreb, Yugoslavia

1989

15th Summer Universiade - Duisburg, Germany

1991

16th Summer Universiade - Sheffield, Great Britain

1993

17th Summer Universiade - Buffalo, USA

1995

18th Summer Universiade - Fukuoka, Japan

1997

19th Summer Universiade - Sicily, Italy

Winter

1985

12th Winter Universiade - Belluno, Italy

1987

13th Winter Universiade - Strbske Pleso, Czechoslovakia

1989

14th Winter Universiade - Sofia, Bulgaria

1991

15th Winter Universiade - Sapporo, Japan

1993

16th Winter Universiade - Zakopane, Poland

1995

17th Winter Universiade - Jaca, Spain

1997

18th Winter Universiade - Chonju-Muju, Korea

 

1999-2013

Summer

1999

20th Summer Universiade - Palma de Mallorca, Spain

2001

21st Summer Universiade - Beijing, China

2003

22nd Summer Universiade - Daegu, Korea

2005

23rd Summer Universiade - Izmir, Turkey

2007

24th Summer Universiade - Bangkok, Thailand

2009

25th Summer Universiade - Belgrade, Serbia

2011

26th Summer Universiade - Shenzhen, China

2013

27th Summer Universiade - Kazan, Russia

Winter

1999

19th Winter Universiade - Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia

2001

20th Winter Universiade - Zakopane, Poland

2003

21st Winter Universiade - Tarvisio, Italy

2005

22nd Winter Universiade - Innsbruck, Austria

2007

23rd Winter Universiade - Torino, Italy

2009

24th Winter Universiade - Harbin, China

2011

25th Winter Universiade - Erzurum, Turkey

2013

26th Winter Universiade - Trentino, Italy

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