Many Former and Current Student-Athletes

BRUSSELS/LAUSANNE, July 27, 2012: With one day left to the official opening of the London Olympics, the world impatiently awaits the new records and heroic feats of the participating athletes. As it has become a tradition, many of the participating athletes previously competed at a FISU event, be it a Universiade or a World University Championship. For this upcoming Olympics it is no exception. Many delegations have former or current student-athletes on their rosters. Take Australia for instance. Over 150 student-athletes in the Australian delegation will compete at the London Games, 38 of those being ‘Uniroos’. The Australian Uniroos is the team identity for all Australian University Sport high performance teams representing Australia on the international stage at a World University Championship, Summer or Winter Universiade.

Australian University Sport (AUS) CEO Don Knapp said it is a pleasing trend to see that the number of student-athletes becoming Olympians appears to be increasing with each Olympiad. “It is rewarding to see athletes that are part of the Uniroos program flourish and step up their sporting career and we at AUS wish the athletes every success in London. The Uniroos program has provided a great pathway for tertiary athletes to flourish at international level,” he said. “Representing Australia at international events such as a World University Championship or Summer or Winter Universiade has provided these athletes with experience to further their athletic careers.

Indeed, Australia and its ‘Uniroos’ are not an exception. Many more delegations can boast former or current-student athletes among their competitors. Some numbers that reached the FISU Media Department: the French have 57 former SU/WUC participants among ‘Les Bleus’, Hungary 49, Germany 40, Serbia 30, Mexico 26, Estonia and Lithuania 21, the Swiss and USA 17, Mongolia (among them some former medallists from the Beijing OG) and Belgium 16, Kyrgyzstan and Portugal 14, Finland 10, Montenegro 8, The Netherlands 7, Morocco 4, Jamaica 2, Barbados and Mozambique 1, Poland even 70 while host Great Britain has 24.

Interesting details, the flagbearer of the Moroccan delegation is Wiam Dislam, a Taekwondo silver medallist at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen. The flag of the Belgian delegation will be carried by 2008 Olympic High Jump Champion and 1999 SU participant Tia Hellebaut.

In the coming weeks FISU Media will keep an eye one these ‘FISU’ Olympians. —- FISU

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