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Home Events 22nd Summer Universiade

22nd Summer Universiade

Republic of Korea, Daegu
21 Aug 2003 - 31 Aug 2003

key facts

174 Nations participating

4179 Athletes participating

13 Sports

The most indelible moment of the 2003 Daegu Universiade was when athletes from the two Koreas marched into the Daegu Stadium during the Opening Ceremony together under the same flag.

The slogan of the Universiade was “A Dream for Unity,” and the scene once again illustrated the power and magic of sport and its ability to build bridges between people. That said, it was touch and go with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which only confirmed its participation in the event two days before the Opening Ceremony.

“This event will help us achieve our dream of unity,” said local organising committee President and Mayor of Daegu Cho Hae-Nyoung at the ceremony. “University athletes from both Koreas will be meeting each other in Daegu, symbolizing our determination to become a single nation.”

Delegations from the two Koreas and 172 other countries got to know each other better at the Athletes’ Village, which was purpose-built for the Games and sold as apartments afterward, in keeping with the sustainability efforts of the host city. The athletes were well taken care of thanks in large part to the 10,000 volunteers who gave their time to the Universiade.

On the field of play, there was plenty to cheer about in the 11 sports on offer. In the swimming pool alone, a stunning 41 Universiade records were set. One reason for this was that 70 of the 400 swimmers present in Daegu came directly from the FINA World Championships in Barcelona and were in top form heading into the Universiade as a result.

Nineteen-year-old Russian Yuri Prilukov made the biggest splash, taking home four gold medals (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1,500m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle relay), setting a new Universiade record in the 800m for good measure.

The Daegu Universiade was more than merely a photo opportunity for the two Koreas, both of whose athletes came to ready to compete. South Korea finished tied with Ukraine with the third most medals (55) behind Russia (82) and China (81). With a considerably smaller contingent, North Korea battled to a respectable 14 medals, including gold in women’s football, women’s -57kg judo, and women’s vault.

Archery joined the Universiade programme for the first time as an optional sport in Daegu, and the home team made the most of the debut, winning five of eight gold medals on offer and an additional five silver medals.