First held in Paris in 1923, the World University Games are the second largest international amateur athletic event next to the Summer Olympic Games. Athletes from 120 countries competed in the largest international sports event of the year.The games were held in Buffalo, NY. the first U.S. city to host the games in their 70-year history.
It was an event that began with great fanfare. More than 70,000 fans packed then-Rich Stadium to welcome 6,400 athletes from 136 different countries, competing in 12 sports.
The World University Games Buffalo portrayed an 11-day event with a local feel-good extravaganza to expand Buffalo’s image to the world, where the Games are esteemed as the next best thing to an Olympics. Gretchen Sorensen, marketing director of the Games, said: “There’s a real hope that this will be a catalyst to take Buffalo into the 21st Century.”