In a spectacular showcase of sportsmanship, friendship, and excellence, the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games reached its triumphant conclusion on 8 August at Chengdu Open Air Music Park. During the 12-day competitions, Chengdu was transformed into a hub of youthful energy – a total of 6,500 student-athletes from 113 countries and regions have competed in 269 events across 18 sports.
The city of Chengdu, renowned for its cultural heritage and innovation, once again proved its capabilities as the host of this global sporting extravaganza. With an unparalleled blend of athletic prowess and cultural resonance, the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games shattered records and embodied the spirit of achieving the seemingly impossible.
The resounding slogan, “Chengdu Makes Dreams Come True,” perfectly embodied the spirit of the FISU Games. Athletes hailing from every corner of the globe gathered in Chengdu, where their shared dreams resonated through the city’s lively streets and world-class venues. From the raw power of athletics to the grace of aquatic disciplines, each event served as a powerful testament to unwavering dedication and the passionate pursuit of dreams.
Among the remarkable individuals at the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games, Aupal Emmanuel, a 23-year-old Ugandan FISU Student Ambassador and FASU Student Representative, stands out as a shining example. His journey to this grand event has been inspirational and unforgettable , as he transformed his dreams into reality on this international stage.
A remarkable chapter in Aupal’s journey commenced in 2021 when he enthusiastically participated in the #Usportchallenge—a competition launched on the Chengdu 2021 official website and social media platforms. The challenge promised a coveted ticket to the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games for the fortunate winners. Amidst a staggering 52,429 participants, Aupal submitted a captivating 12-second workout video, which garnered an astonishing 134,101 votes and garnered an outpouring of encouraging comments, despite narrowly missing out on securing the coveted ticket.
However, this challenge opened up new opportunities. Aupal’s story behind his video was transformed into an article and inspired a number of audiences. Despite financial constraints, Aupal’s dream materialized in 2023 with support from the Chengdu 2021 Social Media Team and an anonymous sponsor. “I will never forget my first participation in the FISU World University Games. I created memories that will last a lifetime. My heart skips a beat whenever I hear someone mentioning the name ‘Chengdu’. Every place I go to in Uganda, they call me Mr. Chengdu. If my heart were Earth, Chengdu would occupy 90% of it. I might be gone for long, but I will be back soon,” Aupal shared.
Throughout the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games, Aupal had the opportunity to visit various locales, including competition venues and cultural sites, while fully immersing himself in the FISU Games Village and the city. Making enduring friendships, expanding networks, and experiencing the hospitality and culture of Chengdu, Aupal’s heart was captivated by the city.
“To all those that made my dreams come true, I wanna say thank you. To all those that have Dreams, Follow Your Heart, Go For Them Because Dreams Come True,” Aupal expressed emotionally.
As the cheers and victories of the Chengdu FISU World University Games gradually fade into memory, the profound impact of this event remains. Like Aupal, every participant left with hearts brimming with renewed determination, inspired by the undeniable truth that Chengdu’s promise—where dreams come true—is more than just words; it’s a living reality.