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Professor Leads USA Team Medical Staff for World University Games

Heading out of city with group and Professor Alvarez

This summer, Professor of Kinesiology Paul Alvarez served as head athletic trainer for the 2023 USA Team during the Universiade competition in Chengdu, China.

Universiade, or what is now known as the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) “World University Games” is the second-largest multi-sport event for college students in the world, after the Olympics, and showcases athletes from across the globe biannually. Approximately 8,000 student-athletes represent 150 countries in 18 sports categories. They are staged every two years in a different city and competitions last for three weeks. This year, Team USA consisted of about 350 members.

This is Alvarez’s seventh time assisting Team USA, the last being in Naples, Italy in 2019. This year, he led a team of ten medical staff member physicians from colleges and universities across the US, including the University of Southern California, Duke, Stanford, and the University of Arizona. Aside from serving a medical role, Alvarez shared that the team also aided US student-athletes as delegation staff, supporting their credentialing, competition needs, transportation, and housing.

This event brings together thousands of student-athletes worldwide to compete, incorporating educational and cultural learning for participants, which aligns with the FISU motto of “excellence in mind and body.”

“The gathering of so many people, representing so many different nations, backgrounds, and paths, is what these games are about,” Alvarez said.

During the event, medical staff are greeted with the opportunity to work with staff at the Polyclinic based out of the Chengdu University Student Health Center. Clinic leadership arranged informal sessions with the crew to exchange medical perspectives and provide opportunities to meet colleagues from different backgrounds.

“We are all dedicated to making sure our athletes are as ready as possible for their competitions, from rowers and swimmers to taekwondo, table tennis, and track and field,” Alvarez said.

He looks forward to sharing and bringing new experiences to students this fall semester.