Organised from January to April 2024 by Université Paris Cité, King’s College London and the University of Aarhus, the Circle U.’Lympics brought together over a hundred participants for a series of four online conferences focused on the Olympic Games. More than thirty students, coming from 8 Circle U. university members were invited to come to Paris for a week of actitivies at Université Paris Cité’s UFR STAPS.

Circle U. European University Alliance: Université Paris Cité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, King’s College, London, UCLouvain, University of Oslo, Aarhus University, University of Belgrade, Université of Pisa and Université of Vienna

Creating the Circle U.’ Lympics project

The main goal of the Circle U.’ Lympics was to bring together students from universities of the Circle U. European Alliance to engage with the Olympic Games to be held in Paris this summer.

We met in Oslo during a staff week organised by Circle U.. There we came up with an idea of a project to bring together students from different backgrounds. Our wish was to save some slots for those who would not have had the opportunity to participate in an international exchange otherwise! Hannah Marshall, Student Experience Officer, King’s College London

We were really happy when we learned that we were going to be financed by Circle U. seed funding. Lotte Skovborg, Circle U. Project Manager, University of Aarhus

A rich and hybrid programme

From January to April, Circle U.’s Lympics brought together around a hundred Circle U. students for four web-conferences on the theme of the Olympic Games. Those lectures were given by professors from several Circle U. member universities. These online meetings allowed the students to gain a better understanding of this tradition dating back to ancient Greece and to grasp all the issues surrounding their organisation. It was also an opportunity for them to meet Sara Slott Petersen, the Olympic medalist who came to share her experience.

Over those four months we talked about history, about the impact of the Olympic Games on the climate and urban planning, we spoke about nutrition and ethics…. I think that’s why so many students joined from all backgrounds, from law, literature, health… and of course our students from the UFR STAPS! Zumreta Trocellier, project leader at Université Paris Cité

One week at Université Paris Cité

The monthly online meetings were followed by a week-long get-together on site of the Sports Science Department of UPCité where several of its top athletes are currently preparing to wear the colors of their country and their university during the Olympic Games.
During that week, the participants visited Université Paris Cité’s main office, took part in a “climate fresco” workshop, participated in sports competitions and learned about handisport!  During that period, they had the chance to discover Paris and the Olympic Games’ sites. As part of these tours, they stopped off in front of the Declaration of Human Rights and admired the first Olympic medals made for the Games since 1896 at the Musée de la Monnaie.
The week ended with the Circle U. certificates ceremony, during which certificates were awarded to the 33 students from the United Kingdom, Serbia, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Denmark and, of course, from Université Paris Cité.

I am very proud to have been able to host the very first event of this kind, whose ambition was to enable students from Circle U. partner universities to build a professional network around scientific conferences, sports competitions, and cultural visits in Paris on the theme of the Olympics! Damien Vitiello, Director of the Sports Science Department at Université Paris Cité.

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