The Flame of Knowledge burns in Turin. In exactly three years, the first Italian capital in history and the mountains that surround it will host the World University Games (the new nomenclature of the event invented by Primo Nebiolo in 1959) in winter, just as happened recently in Piedmont with the amazing Universiade of 2007.
Turin is also the Olympia of the university sports world. This afternoon, in fact, the Flame of Knowledge was lit in the courtyard of the Rectorate of the University of Turin, leaving for Chengdu, which from 26 June to 7 July, will host the next summer edition of the University World Games, postponed by 12 months due to the pandemic. Once the brazier was lit, the path of the flame began, which touched the suggestive “Gallery of the Kings” of the Egyptian Museum, the Murazzi del Po, arriving at the Valentino Castle, seat of the Department of Architecture and Design of the Turin Polytechnic.
Shortly before, there had been another fundamental handover because, given the cancellation of the Lucerne 2021 edition, scheduled for last December, a delegation from the Swiss city was present to deliver the flag of the FISU (the highest university body world) at Lake Placid, which will host the Winter Games in 2023, or two years before Turin, which in turn will have this honor from 13 to 23 January 2025.
At the outdoor ceremony, organized by the Turin University Sports Center (CUS Torino) with the collaboration of CUSI and FISU, respecting the regulations for the purpose of containing the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, the highest Italian and international institutional and academic authorities were present between which: Leonz Eder (Acting FISU President), Stefano Geuna (Rector of the University of Turin), Guido Saracco (Rector of the Polytechnic of Turin), Stefano Lo Russo (Mayor of Turin), Maria Grazia Grippo (President of the Council Municipal Turin), Fabrizio Ricca (Councilor for Sport of the Piedmont Region), Lorenzo Lentini (National Delegate of CUSI, representing the president Antonio Dima), Riccardo D’Elicio (President of the Turin University Sports Center), Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (President of the Organizing Committee Torino 2025 and President EDISU Piedmont), in addition to the representatives of the delegations of Lucerne 2021, Chengdu 2021 and Lake Placid 2023.
Here below the statements of the speakers
Stefano Geuna (Rector of the University of Turin): «It’s a pleasure to be in this place because the Universiade was born here and it is nice to continue hosting this Ceremony. We hope it is a message of hope for the future of sport».
Guido Saracco (Rector of the Turin Polytechnic): «Sport unites the world, the Beijing Olympics will start soon and the Turin Polytechnic can count on 12,000 Chinese students. Then, the next winter Universiade will instead be in the United States, so it’s nice that the two extremes of the world can be united by sport and I find it an excellent inspiration for everyone».
Maria Grazia Grippo (President of the Municipal Council of the City of Turin): «Welcome to Turin, a city where sports and university values go hand in hand and are connected to our territory. I want to send my best wishes to Chengdu and Lake Placid who will host the next University World Games».
Fabrizio Ricca (Councilor for Sport of the Piedmont Region): «It’s a pride to be here all together and I am happy that this connection is created with Lake Placid and the United States. We look forward to seeing you in 2025 at our Universiade».
Lorenzo Lentini (National Delegate of CUSI, representing the president Antonio Dima): «Since the flame was extinguished at the closing ceremony of the Universiade of Naples 2019 we have faced difficult times, so we hope that the ignition of this flame is a a sign of hope for the future».
Riccardo D’Elicio (President of CUS Turin): «Dear friends, the flag of FISU and the Flame of Knowledge depart from Turin, two symbols that unite the world thanks to the values of university sport. Turin continues to be at the center of the university system and for this I thank FISU, CUSI and my two rectors».
Leonz Eder (Acting FISU President): «We worked for 6 years in view of Lucerne, unfortunately there was no happy ending, but I thank the institutions and the journey continues».
Ashley Walden (Lake Placid Organizing Committee Chief Operating Officer): «It’s been 50 years since Lake Placid and the North Country region have last played host to the FISU World University Games. We are honored to have this opportunity to bring the world back together again in both sport and cultural exchange. We’re forward to the countdown to the remaining days before the beginning of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games».
Then there was the video message from Wang Fengchao (Mayor of Chengdu and President of the Chengdu 2021 Executive Committee): «On behalf of the Chengdu Executive Committee, I would like to send my sincere greetings and heartfelt thanks to you all. Flame symbolizes brightness and dreams. It enlightens the world with equity, unity and friendship, illuminates the Fisu Games with progress and prosperity, and acts a beacon inspiring university students worldwide to come together, grow together and create a mutually beneficial future together».