Triangle Sports Commission Summer 2021 Newsletter
As the Triangle and North Carolina continue to emerge from the pandemic, we are pleased to bring you some very positive Olympic and amateur sports news.
Back in the Game(s)!
It has been a long time coming for the sport of Baseball – almost 13 years to be exact – since the sport was competed in the Olympic Games. Last seen in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, where the United States team captured the bronze medal, the sport returns to the Games that begin next month in Tokyo, Japan, and, importantly, Team USA will be back in the Games!
Qualifying literally at the last possible opportunity, by going undefeated less than two weeks ago in the win-it-all-or-go-home Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Team USA is now headed to Tokyo! The US had to win all four games in the tournament in order to punch its ticket to the Summer Games and did just that concluding with a win over Venezuela (4-2).
“The Olympic connection was one of our primary reasons for pursuing USA Baseball’s Headquarters and National Training Complex for the Triangle,” said Hill Carrow, CEO of the Triangle Sports Commission, which led the regional recruitment of the sport national governing body to the area. “It is very exciting to have Baseball and America’s Team back in the Games.”
Major congratulations to Paul Seiler, USA Baseball CEO, and his outstanding staff and board at USA Baseball for their hard work and dedication through the years to getting the sport and our national team back into the world’s premier sports competition.
Bringing the Games to the Triangle
While the U.S. Men’s Baseball Team heads to the biggest Olympic sports event on the planet, the Triangle is making plans of its own to bring the world’s second-largest multi-sport Olympic event to the area. The Summer World University Games is 62 years old and has grown through the years to become the world’s largest event for student athletes. The North Carolina Bid Committee, comprised of a number of local sport and community leaders, is heading the effort to secure the 2027 Summer WUG for North Carolina and the Triangle region.
The international sport governing body for the Games is the International University Sports Federation (FISU) which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the International Olympic Committee. The United States member of FISU is the U.S. International University Sports Federation (USIUSF), based in Orlando. In February, the USIUSF formally notified FISU of America’s intent to bid on the 2027 Summer World University Games. At the same time, the USIUSF, after a 3-year process, named the Triangle as its Host City Partner in the bid, which means that the Triangle is considered the United States’ Candidate City for the Games and is now in international competition for the big event.
Delise O’Meally, Secretary General of the USIUSF and a member of the FISU Executive Committee, said, “The fast-growing Triangle region, with its 10 colleges and universities, deep array of top-quality sports venues, and great track record of major multi-sport Olympic events is a natural for hosting the Summer World University Games.” You can find out more about North Carolina’s bid by visiting www.ncwugbidcommittee.com. The website has information on the bid and how you or your company can support it. You can also sign up for the monthly eNewsletter which will keep you up to date on the latest happenings with the bid effort.
Triangle Olympic Sport News
Hopefully all you Olympic junkies are enjoying NBC’s extensive coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Swimming, currently taking place in Omaha. Coverage of the Paralympic Trials is also underway. Track & Field Trials start today and the Gymnastics Trials start soon. As of today, there are three North Carolinians or NC-connected athletes who have been confirmed for the U.S. Olympic Team including Evy Leibfarth of Bryson City and Zach Lokken of Charlotte, both in Canoe/Kayak, and Cary’s own Claire Curzan in Swimming (Women’s 100m Butterfly). Ryan Held, former NC State University standout and Rio 2016 Games Olympic Gold Medalist, is well-positioned in the Men’s 100m Freestyle to make Team USA either individually or on a relay – or both). Results of North Carolinians competing in the Olympic Trials to date are posted on the TSC website and can be accessed by clicking here. We will attempt to update these regularly throughout the Trials period.
Sometimes referred to as North Carolina’s Olympics, the State Games of North Carolina, founded by TSC CEO, Hill Carrow, and led today by Chuck Hobgood and his excellent team at NC Amateur Sports, make their return to the Triangle this year. Summer sports competition in those Games got started this month and there will be action in Archery, Mountain Biking, Ninja, Pickleball, and Taekwondo, among others, taking place this weekend, with more sports to follow in subsequent weeks. For more information on the State Games of North Carolina, click here.
The Importance of Venues
Someone with a keen eye for the obvious once noted, “You can’t do sports events without venues.” While such a statement certainly does not seem like an astute observation, often times the value of good facilities is taken for granted. Those of us in the Triangle area happen to reside in a very venue rich community. That is why major events such as the World University Games might consider us as a host location, or why multi-sport Games like the State Games of North Carolina enjoy staging their events in the Triangle. The NCAA’s first-ever staging of its combined Men’s and Women’s Soccer College Cups at WakeMed Soccer Park last month, and USA Baseball hosting its annual team development tournaments at their National Training Complex (which no doubt led to Team USA making it back to the “Big Show” in Tokyo!), stand as testament to the value of these outstanding public facilities in Cary. The Triangle Sports Commission is very proud to have played a leadership role in the development of both.