by Cecil Bleiker - U.S. Olympic Committee (719-866-4608)
For Immediate Release
January 17, 2007
Team USA: Ready, Set, Go for the 2007 Winter World University Games in Torino, Italy; Men's Hockey Captain Nick Krebsbach to Lead the Team into Opening Ceremony as U.S. Team Flag Bearer
(TORINO, Italy) The Opening Ceremony of the 2007 Winter World University Games will take place tonight, Wednesday, January 17 at the Palasport Olimpico in Torino, Italy. The Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. and is expected to conclude around 10:00 p.m., local Torino time.
The 87-member United States delegation will be led into the Opening Ceremony by flag bearer; ice hockey player, Nick Krebsbach (Minot, N.D.), a senior at North Dakota State University. Krebsbach is competing in his second Winter World University Games. He was a member of the U.S. University Select Team that competed at the 2005 Winter Universiade in Innsbruck, Austria and tied for second on the team with four points (2-2). That squad finished with a 3-3-0 record, marking Team USA's best showing since returning to the Games in 2001 with players from the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Prior to arriving at North Dakota State University, Krebsbach played one season (2003-04) at NCAA Division I Wayne State University (Mich.).
Krebsbach was elected as the Team USA flag bearer late last night at a delegation team captain's meeting. The U.S. Men's Hockey Team voted that their team's nominee should be there captain, Krebsbach and the other team captain's of Team USA agreed.
"Carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony is always a young athlete's dream," said Krebsbach. "You watch the Olympics growing up and you see the festivities. This is the closest I'll ever come, so it will be a great honor to be holding the flag for the United States at the Opening Ceremony. I'm looking forward to it."
Krebsbach is the three-year captain of the men's hockey team at North Dakota State University. He has totaled 67 points (31 goals, 36 assists) in three season (54 games) at North Dakota State.
Krebsbach will lead in the United States' largest delegation to a Winter World University Games since the 1995 Winter Universiade. Team USA promises to be a team of great potential as the 23rd Winter Universiade opens tonight in Torino.
The official motto of the 2007 Winter World University Games in Torino, Italy is "Crazy 4 U", but it could just as well be "Torino Take Two". The 2007 Winter Universiade will have a very familiar look and feel, as the Games will be held in the 2006 Olympic host city of Torino, Italy, just 10 months after the city extinguished the flame at the Paralympic Winter Games, after two months of hosting the world for the XX Olympic and the IX Paralympic Winter Games. The 23rd Winter World University Games, will be held January 17-27, 2007 in many of the same venues that hosted the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The World University Games or Universiade, which include both winter and summer versions, are held every two years for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28. Eligible athletes must be registered for a full course of study at a university or have obtained their degrees within a year of the Games. The World University Games bring together the best collegiate athletes from around the world for 11 days of competition in a multi-sport Olympic style event.
The 2007 United States Winter World University Games Team will be represented by its largest contingent in several years with 88 athletes committed to represent the United States of America at these Games in Torino, Italy. The United States will send teams in the sports of curling, figure skating, men¹s ice hockey, alpine skiing, short track speedskating and long track speedskating.
The 2007 Winter Universiade will consist of a total of 11 sports: biathlon, Nordic combined, curling, figure skating, men's ice hockey, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, long track speedskating and short track speedskating. The United States will not participate in biathlon, Nordic combined, cross country skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding.
In men's ice hockey, the United States will be represented by the 22-player U.S. University Select Team which was picked following an identification camp held in August 2006. The team is comprised of top-level players from non-varsity ice hockey teams affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), which includes 300 teams in three men's divisions. Highlighting the U.S. roster are returning World University Games veterans Nick Krebsbach (Minot, N.D./North Dakota State University/forward) and Joel Kuehn (Troy, Mich./University of Michigan-Dearborn/forward). These three players helped lead the 2005 U.S. Winter World University Games Team to a 3-3-0 record at the 22nd Winter Universiade in Innsbruck, Austria. The competition sites for men's ice hockey for the 2007 Winter World University Games will be the Tazzoli Rink and the Torre Pellice in Torino.
Besides its recent Olympic history, Torino, Italy is a city that has particular signifigance to the Universiade. Torino has hosted three Summer World University Games (1933, 1959, 1970), but 2007 will be the first time for the city of Torino to host the Winter Universiade. It will be the second time for the Piedmont region of Italy to host the event, however, as Sestriere, Italy hosted the event in 1966. The 1959 Games hosted in Torino marked a turning point in the history of the World University Games. The origin of the World University Games began in 1923 with the organization of the World Student Games. The following year, the International Confederation of Students was born and took on the oversight responsibility of the International University Games (the first Winter International University Games were held in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy in 1928). Following World War II, the International University Sport Federation (FISU) was founded in 1949 and took on oversight of the World University Games. The Games held in Torino in 1959 saw a name change of the event to Universiade, as well as many rule and ceremonial changes which are still in effect today. Much as Olympia, Greece is known as the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Torino is considered the birthplace of the Universiade and is also the orgination city for the Universiade flame and torch. In all, the 2007 Winter Universiade will mark the sixth time the country of Italy has the Winter World University Games. Tarvisio was the last Italian City to host the Games, holding the Winter Universiade in 2003. Italy has also hosted six versions of the Summer World University Games, most recently in 1997 in Sicily. The 2007 Winter Universiade will be the 12th Universiade hosted in Italy, by far the most for any country.
The United States Team is entered into the Winter Universiade by the United States Olympic Committee and the United States International University Sports Federation. The Games are sponsored by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The United States has hosted one Winter Universiade in 1972 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Summer Universiade has also been held in the United States one time, taking place in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1993. Innsbruck, Austria hosted the last Winter Universiade in 2005 and Izmir, Turkey was the site of the 2005 Summer Universiade.
Please see below for the 2007 United States Winter World University Games Team Roster.
For more information, please visit www.usocpressbox.org, www.usolympicteam.com, www.universiadetorino2007.org and www.fisu.net.
For more information, please contact the USOC Media & Public Relations Division at 719-866-4529. This press release is also available on the USOC's media specific website at www.usocpressbox.org.