Paul Alvarez received his first invitation to the 2009 World University Games (Universiade) in Belgrade, Serbia, represented the United States in Shenzhen, China, in 2011 and will soon make his third trip to the Games, in Kazan, Russia.
Four years ago, Alvarez, Director of the University of La Verne’s Athletic Training Education Program was in the right place at the right time when an athletic training colleague asked him if he had any plans for the summer. Alvarez was then offered the opportunity to travel with the U.S. team to the Universiade, sponsored by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). After checking with his family, he agreed and set off for Belgrade.
He has now been invited to attend the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia, from July 6-17, where he will be an assistant athletic trainer and part of the delegation office staff for the U.S. team.
“This is one of the most profound moments in my professional career,” Alvarez said.
The U.S. team will be led by long-time Head of Delegation Dr. Gary Cunningham, former UCLA Basketball player under Coach John Wooden, as well as former UCLA Coach and Director of Athletics at both Fresno State and UC Santa Barbara before his retirement from collegiate athletics a few years ago. The medical staff will be headed by Dr. Ron Olson, Director of Sports Medicine at Duke University, and the Head Athletic Trainer is Leroy Heu, Head Athletic Trainer at UC Santa Barbara.
Approximately 450 student-athletes from the U.S. are set to compete and there will be more than 6,000 student athletes representing at least 170 nations. The Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is held in a different city every two years. The FISU motto, “Excellence in Mind and Body” guides the summer Universiade, which includes student-athletes from around the world in a celebration held by the host city to show friendship and sportsmanship.
“In terms of volume, after the Olympics, this is the world’s second-largest sporting event,” Alvarez said.
Because of his experiences, Alvarez is able to share with others that they too can achieve great heights as La Verne faculty, staff and students.
“When I tell people that I have been to an event of this magnitude, I am not trying to boast but to show what is possible,” Alvarez said. “Who would have thought someone from La Verne would be acting as a representative of the United States of America in an international sporting event of this importance?”
For more information on the U.S. team headed to Universiade visit http://www.wugusa.com/summer-games/