The 28th Summer Universiade took place in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 3 – July 14, 2015. This is the first time South Korea has hosted the event since 2003, when it had a record number of 174 participating countries in the city of Daegu.
The Universiade is a 12 day-long international sport and cultural festival for student-athletes, second only to the Olympic Games size, held every two years in a different city. Hosted by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the Universiade held its first event in 1959 in Turin, Italy. We explore the uniqueness and outcomes of this year’s Gwangju Universiade by the numbers.
The number of gold medals won by South Korea in 2015, making it the winner of the Summer Universiade for the first time in its history. It also won 32 silver and 29 bronze medals. In second place was Russia with 34 gold medals, 39 silver, and 49 bronze. South Korea previously won first place in an international sporting event at the 2007 Winter Universiade in Torino, Italy.
The amount the Gwangju Universiade Organization Committee (GUOC) was able to save by minimizing new venue construction and creating eco-friendly reconstructions of existing facilities, as part of its theme, “Ecoversiade.” By building only 4 out of the 69 venues and receiving corporate sponsorships on electronic goods and vehicles, the Gwangju Universiade was the most eco-friendly and economically cost-efficient in its history.
The portion of Olympic medalists who have also won medals in the Universiade games.
The total number of participating countries in the 2015 Gwangju Universiade, with over 20,000 participants. Notably, North Korea boycotted the event by not participating this year due to the establishment of a U.N. human rights office on June 23, 2015 in Seoul, tasked with monitoring the human rights situation in North Korea.
The number of sports programs for this year’s Universiade. The Summer Universiade generally consists of 13 compulsory sports (Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Basketball, Diving, Fencing, Football, Judo, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo) and optional sports chosen by the host country. This year, South Korea chose Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Golf, Handball, Rowing, Shooting, and Taekwondo. As of 2017, Taekwondo will be included as part of the compulsory sports list, as well as Archery in 2019.