Wroclaw, Poland (July 20, 2017) – The 2017 World Games officially got underway tonight as the more than 3500 athletes competing at this year’s Games were introduced to a crowd of several thousand people at Wroclaw Stadium.
At a press conference leading up to the opening ceremonies, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called the World Games a “celebration of the diversity of sport.” He addressed media representatives alongside International World Games Association President Jose Perurena, Polish Olympic Committee President Andrezj Krasnicki and Wroclaw Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz. In response to questions about what sports are close to joining the Olympic program, Bach referenced the “team of observers” the IOC has in Wroclaw this week to evaluate all sports and how they fit into and advance larger sporting events.
As for your U.S. National Team, after a lavender-infused trip to H&M, they started today with a light practice, just enough to get a feel for the field they’ll be competing on over the next three days and to get some touches on the disc. Then they headed to Wroclaw Stadium for the opening ceremonies.
— USAU World Games (@USAUltimateWG) July 19, 2017
Aside from player introductions and Bach officially declaring the Games open, the opening ceremony was three hours of non-stop entertainment: music from a symphony orchestra and some of Poland’s favorite singers, performer after performer, and eventually just a dance party on the stadium floor. It was all capped off with a very cramped and very sweaty tram ride back to the city center, at least for me. I’m pretty sure the team’s bus had air conditioning.
Competition, including ultimate’s preliminary rounds, officially kicks off tomorrow at venues all across Wroclaw. The U.S. is set to face Colombia and Canada tomorrow, at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. local time, respectively.
Follow along with the team here and on social media. In addition to updates posted here and on the USA Ultimate Twitter account and Facebook page, Claire Desmond currently has the keys to the USA Ultimate Snapchat account (usaultimate), and Jimmy Mickle is running the World Games team Twitter account (@USAUltimateWG)
The World Games will be broadcast live on the Olympic Channel 24 hours a day for the entire week of events. Ultimate is included in the coverage, with specific plans to cover the bronze- and gold-medal games.
2017 marks the tenth, and largest, edition of the World Games. Ultimate was introduced to the competition program in 2001 in Akita, Japan. The U.S. earned silver in 2001 and has taken home gold from each of the last three World Games events, including 2013 in Cali, Colombia.