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29 December 2020 | in FISU Athletes

Best student-athlete quotes from 2020

Through the FISU Athletes profile series, FISU has interviewed dozens of university stars through the year 2020. Here are some of the best picks: 


Kholosa Biyana7Kholosa Biyana

Three-time World University Games participant Kholosa Biyana who has soared to the top of her sport – including playing at a FIFA Women’s World Cup – said the importance of education and a dual career was instilled in her by her parents.


“Education is very important to me,” she said. “I love football and I know I can make a living out of it, but things are different in South Africa, as we do not have a professional league here.”


“I know there will come a stage when I won’t be able to play professional football. I need to have something to fall back on. Not only will education help me in the future, but I can also apply the knowledge I gain while playing soccer; in aspects such as injury prevention, rehabilitation, sport psychology among others.”


You know at FISU, we love those who focus on their dual careers!



Kaila Charles 1Kaila Charles

For 2020 NBA draft pick Kaila Charles, the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade was an experience of a lifetime. She looked back on it fondly, during an interview with FISU earlier this year.


“That was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my whole life,” she said. “Going to a whole different country and experiencing a new culture was great in itself, but also competing at the World University Games."


"Meeting all those people from all around the world and the opening ceremonies, everything was spectacular. We had a lot of fun.”



Will Malisch SBX3Will Malisch

Canadian snowboarder Will Malisch, who won gold at the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade, surprised us with the back-story of his win.


“Going into Krasnoyarsk, I was pretty sure I was almost at the end of my snowboard racing career,” said Malisch candidly. “I hadn’t raced for a year. In fact, I hadn’t even trained much to be honest!”


“A lot of the other competitors didn’t even know me, especially the younger ones. They were probably wondering who this guy is, this bib number 31,” he added with a laugh. 


Malisch ended up pulling off a big upset win over the twice Junior World Champion Daniil Dilman of Russia, winning Canada’s first snowboard gold at the FISU World University Games.




Ajiah Pepe 1Ajiah Pepe

Basketball player Ajiah Pepe who represents the small Pacific nation of the Cook Islands as a FISU Student Ambassador, had something interesting to say about her experience at t he 2019 FISU University World Cup 3x3.


“The atmosphere in that environment is something I’ll always remember,” said the 21-year-old. “When you’re there at the moment it’s surreal, they treat you like you’re celebrities.”


No doubt, the spectators at Huaqiao University in Xiamen, People's Republic of China leave no stone unturned to ensure the participating teams feel like real superstars. 



Stanford Kawale

Stanford Kawale, a swimmer from Papua New Guinea told us that “the sport gave so much to me. If it wasn’t for swimming, I probably wouldn’t have developed the way I did. So I guess I want to give back and help mentor kids, passing on my knowledge of the sport.”


For that future generation he has a simple yet memorable message, “set yourself attainable goals, and then ask yourself how hard you’re willing to work to achieve those goals and what you’re willing to sacrifice.”


Stanford Kawale