8 August 2023 – Chengdu

Anticipation sparks for Rhine-Ruhr 2025

In a solemn ceremony today, 8 August 2023, the flag of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) was handed over to the future host at the Chengdu Open Air Music Park in China. Mahmut Özdemir, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior and Home Affairs, and Dr Verena Burk, Senior Member of the FISU Executive Committee and Academic Senior Councillor at the University of Tübingen, accepted the flag on behalf of Germany.

While this marked the start of the 2025 Games in Germany, the handover of the flag also marked the end of the Chengdu FISU World University Games.

The cultural performance of the future host Rhine-Ruhr 2025 under the motto "PASSIONATELY CONNECTED BY FIRE AND WATER" gave a first taste of the spirit of the Games in 2025. The artistic presentation of an impressive dance show symbolically illustrated how a symbiotic community emerges from the opposing elements of fire and water. Niklas Börger, CEO of the organising committee, underlined this motif: "Both the FISU World University Games and the host region stand for this very symbiosis."

©International University Sports Federation (FISU)

The performance allowed seemingly opposing polarities to merge into an unbreakable unity and create an impressive togetherness. The large-scale show programme underlined the importance of the event, which is held every two years. The largest international multi-sport event after the Olympic and Paralympic Games gives Rhine-Ruhr 2025 the opportunity to present itself globally as the strong, cosmopolitan region that it is.

©International University Sports Federation (FISU)

Mahmut Özdemir, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior and Community, expressed his enthusiasm for the event and is looking forward to welcoming the athletes to Germany in two years' time: "At the Rhine-Ruhr FISU World University Games in the summer of 2025, we want to offer the international university sports athletes, guests and spectators outstanding sporting competition, unforgettable experiences and exciting exchanges and encounters. Due to its dense network of sports facilities and scientific institutions, the Rhine-Ruhr region offers an excellent framework for hosting inspiring games in the long term and presenting Germany as a reliable host of major international sporting events."

You can watch Mahmut Özdemir's speech at the Closing Ceremony of the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games in a video here (in German).

©International University Sports Federation (FISU)

Jörg Förster, chairman of the board of the German University Sports Federation (adh), added: "Together with our partners, we will organise a major event that combines sport and science in an exemplary way. The conceptual focus of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games is the symbiosis of social, ecological and economic sustainability as well as innovation and participation. Sport has the power to create mutual understanding, tolerance and friendship across all borders. With the Games in Germany, we want to contribute to this and make it possible to experience the values of sport that are important for society as a whole.”

©International University Sports Federation (FISU)

This official conclusion of the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games paves the way for sporting and cultural highlights at the FISU World University Games 2025. The Rhine-Ruhr region, which has a very good sports infrastructure, is already preparing intensively for the guests from all over the world. More than 10,000 athletes and officials from over 150 countries are expected to compete in 18 sports.