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World University Games

WUGs by Korea

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1997 Muju-Chonju Winter Universiade

The 18th Muju-Jeonju Winter Universiade was held from January 24 to February 2, 1997, with 1,406 athletes and officials from 48 countries. The Winter Universiade, held every two years since 1960, has been mainly held in Europe, starting with the 1st Chamonix Universiade held in France. The first winter Universiade held in Asia was in Sapporo, Japan, in 1991. Muju-Chonju.

The number of countries initially scheduled to participate in the event was 50, but 48 countries participated due to the absence of Israel and Kyrgyzstan. Muju hosted 28 competitions in three sports, including Alpine, Nordic (including ski jumping), and biathlon, while Chonju hosted 25 competitions in four sports, including figure skating, short track, speed skating, and ice hockey. The Muju-Chonju Universiade received excellent evaluations because the number of participating countries increased sevenfold compared to the past event, and the participation of many world-class athletes added brilliance to the events. During the event, the South Korean team ranked sixth in overall rankings with five gold, two silver, and five bronze medals, notably winning four gold medals in short track and one gold medal in speed skating.

It was the first mega international winter sports event held in South Korea, and the nation earned commendations for top-level competition management and the excellence of the opening and closing ceremonies.

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2003 Daegu Summer Universiade

Daegu City bid for the 2003 Summer Universiade to the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in May 2000, with the government's approval. It was selected as the host city for the 22nd Summer Universiade following the decision of the FISU Executive Committee on July 14, 2000.

Under the theme of "Dream of Being One," the Daegu Universiade presented a green culture festival that portrayed the dream of humanity to become one beyond all boundaries and differences, achieving harmony between nature's providence and advanced civilization.

The 22nd Daegu Summer Universiade was held in seven cities in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, including Daegu city, over ten days from August 21 to August 31, 2003. The event welcomed 11,215 athletes from 174 countries, including 134 FISU member countries.

Countries in conflict such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and East Timor and even North Korea participated in the 2003 Universiade, and Aruba and St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, which had never participated in international sports events, joined the games in Daegu. Their exceptional participation marked the Daegu Universiade as the most outstanding university student sports festival in both name and reality and delivered a message of peace and harmony.

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2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade

The Gwangju Universiade was held for 12 days from July 3 to 14, 2015, with 10,632 athletes from 140 countries participating in 13 compulsory sports and eight optional sports.

The Gwangju Metropolitan Government's theme of "Light Up Tomorrow" featured the image of a city that had developed into a center of high-tech industry in the 21st century and referenced Gwangju city's identity derived from its name, which means “City of Light,” while expressing the aspiration for a Universiade that shines a light on the challenging spirit of young people from all over the world.

Daegu witnessed spectacular athletic performances, setting two new world records and 31 new Universiade records. South Korea stood atop the overall rankings for the first time since its participation in the Summer Universiade Games.

It was a competition that overcame unpredictable external factors such as the MERS crisis and a typhoon (Chan-hom) and nonetheless achieved successful results in all aspects such as scale, ticket sales, competition management, and safety. It was highly praised both internally and internationally.

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