Citizens react as USA sits out 2023 World University Games in Chengdu

Citizens react as USA sits out 2023 World University Games in Chengdu

THE USA Swimming won’t be sending a team to this year’s World University Games in Chengdu, China, and is implementing a new plan moving forward that will see the national governing body only field one team per quad to the Games.


A USA Swimming spokesperson who confirmed the new plan to SwimSwam added that it will only send a team “if we feel the locations provide the best opportunities for our athletes.”


USA Swimming has not provided an explanation of the reasoning behind the new policy as of the time of this publication.


The World University Games, which feature a summer and winter edition during the same year biennially, hasn’t had a summer version occur since 2019.


The 2021 event was initially pushed from 2021 to 2022, and then postponed a second time until 2023, due to the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in China.


Similar to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that took place in 2021, the Games are still be branded as “Chengdu 2021” despite the event taking place in 2023.


Prior to the second postponement, USA Swimming said that it wouldn’t send a team to the 2022 edition, shifting its quad plan to focus on fielding a team in 2023.


Now, with the event getting postponed a second time, USA Swimming said it will now look to send a squad in 2025, which is scheduled to take place in Rhine-Ruhr, Germany.


With USA Swimming opting not to send a team, there will likely be an opportunity for top college and university programs to apply to represent the U.S. at the event, which was the case last year prior to the postponement.


The 2023 Winter World University Games are currently ongoing in Lake Placid, N.Y., running from Jan. 12-22.

The Chengdu 2021 Summer Games are scheduled for July 28-Aug. 8, 2023.


People react 

Why is China being allowed to host?


USAS sends LC teams to short course worlds because LC performance is the biggest goal they’re chasing, and athletes who have been on an international team perform better at the Olympics than those who haven’t. Well here is an international LC meet that would give athletes who have a shot to make an Olympic team to get valuable experience if they miss out on the 2023 worlds team. USAS chooses to pass up the opportunity though, because they don’t want to foot the bill.


USAS doesn’t want to send a team to China. Full stop.


Yet another disappointment and missed opportunity for those who started college in 2019 and 2020. These student athletes have missed out/changed plans/adapted so much in the last few years and now they lose out on this event as well. Bad decision, USA swimming.


You are spot on!, USA Swimming has totally hosed the class of 2019 and 2020. The only thing the Class of 2020 Junior national team members received was a free T-Shirt, mailed to the wrong address! No Camp, No Meet’s NOTHING! Now take this away from them. Thank you USA swimming!


You want these kids to go to China? Home of the pandemic and human rights violations?


I wish that more countries would follow this lead. China has been called out for cheating in aquatics. The whereabouts of the tennis player who accused a high profile CCP member of sexual assault is also unknown. Keep sports events out of China


Agreed. China was scheduled to host the World Indoor Track and Field Championships this March. It was postponed again until 2025. I hope the World Athletics Council comes to its senses and removes it completely. But that will never happen, due to the almighty bribe


Substitute “keep sports events out of China” with “boycott the Olympics because of x” and tell me, do you have the same take? These kids, are they political pawns, or do you think they worked hard and should have every opportunity afforded them by the USOPC? I’m guessing Mike Bottom or Rowdy Gaines might have an opinion on that….


I have no idea how the WUGs work, or how they choose the team, but the kids who could’ve qualified for it should be given the opportunity to qualify for and attend another international trip somewhere else. A World Cup or whatever.


Ask for further clarification. It has more to do with being in China than anything else.


Is there a limit to how many college teams could go if multiple apply? Also, World Championships is the week before this meet so it would be interesting to see which college program have top-end talent off the Worlds roster that would be interested in attending WUG’s. Wonder if any swimmers would head to WC’s in Japan and go to WUG’s right afterwards in China.

There is a limit to the roster size. I don’t think FISU puts any restrictions on how the host nations select those teams.


Sad, bad decision. . . .
Many/Most athletes only have a very limited number of chances for international experience – and WUG has been one of the most important. Limiting it to one every quad cycle just contracts the possibilities – not good. And, what is wrong with giving athletes MORE opportunities to test their abilities on an big stage. Why ‘go small’ when USA Swimming can ‘go big’!?

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