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01 July 2019 | in Summer Universiade

Olympians and Olympic hopefuls converge in Napoli for 30th Summer Universiade Press Conference

The premiere multi-sport event for university student-athletes gets underway on 3 July

NAPOLI, Italy – Olympians and Olympic hopefuls came together to address the media ahead of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade, which will get underway on 3 July. The opening press conference was graced by Napoli 2019 ambassador Massimiliano Rosolino – the most decorated athlete in the history of Italian swimming, along with basketball player Eziyoda Magbegor of Australia and diver Lauren Reedy of USA.


FISU President Oleg Matytsin welcomed the gathering by saying, “In a world full of turbulence, students are protagonists of change in our countries, in order to build a more stable society and a more stable future."


FISU President Oleg Matytsin

Rosolino spoke of how his hometown of Napoli was the perfect setting that allowed him to get through the grind and become Olympic champion. “Difficulties are not always a problem,” he said of his growing up years. “They also have a value. Naples was a difficult reality then, but it educated me and pushed me to exceed my limits to excel. The organisation of this Universiade is the proof of how far we have come.”


For Magbegor, who is making her Universiade debut, Napoli 2019 presents an opportunity like none other. “What I’m most excited about is competing against a range of countries and some of the best athletes in the world, in this amazing atmosphere,” she said. At the age of 19, Magbegor is already a sensation in her sport. She will soon embark on her professional career with Seattle Storm of the WNBA.


Australian Basketball player Eziyoda Magbegor

Lauren Reedy, who placed first in the USA Diving Winter Trials last year and has represented Team USA at the FINA World Championships as well as the 2015 Summer Universiade, said her experience four years ago helped her make a difficult decision.

 USA Diver Lauren Reedy

“I had to decide between the World Championships and the Universiade,” she said. “But it was my dream to come here. Remembering my time at the Summer Universiade 2015, it’s an Olympic feeling at the village. So many athletes from all over the world and across so many sports – it’s really a unique opportunity."


When asked about the readiness of the games, FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond said “Regione Campania, is one of the richest lands in terms of culture and history, not just in Italy but in the whole world. We have all the ingredients to make this not an average Universiade, but an an excellent one.”


The President of the Campania Region, Vincenzo De Luca said, “We are glad that the Universiade is getting started. We have always been aware of how hard it would be to make it happen. But we made it on time. Thank you all for making this happen and for giving us this opportunity.”


Vincenzo De Luca, President of the Campania Region

Also present at the briefing were two men who have been instrumental in the on-ground delivery of the games, Extraordinary Commissioner Gianluca Basile and the General Coordinator of the 30th Summer Universiade Adam Sotiriadis. “This challenge of getting ready was overcome together,” said Sotiriadis. “With extraordinary effort from all.”


Basile agreed, saying “We faced some difficulties and logistics unpredictability, but we are now happy that we are ready for the Universiade and the Opening Ceremony".


The President of CUSI – the Italian University Sports Federation – Lorenzo Lentini summed it all up by stressing upon the legacy that the Universiade will leave behind for the people of Napoli and the Campania Region. “We do not have the tradition of fine campuses like American universities do, but today the University of Salerno – for example – can boast of first-rate facilities. This Universiade will contribute to the growth of sport in this country.”

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