The Universiade is the paramount competition in college and university sport. In fact, apart from the Olympics, the Universiade is the largest multi-sport event in the world, with a combined total of 11,500 student-athletes from over 170 countries, competing in 28 different sports in both the summer and winter events.
It follows that for the University of Toronto, sending Dr. Lee Schofield as Canada’s Chief Medical Officer is an honour.
Focusing on sport and family medicine, Schofield is University of Toronto’s only representative this year. His role is well deserved; Schofield has been representing Canada since 2013. Moreover, he was a member of the core Canadian medical team at the Pan Am Games. Prior to that, he practiced medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, which he still does part-time.
This year’s Universiade is taking place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from January 29 to February 8. The Chef de Mission, Ari Grossman, commented in an OUA interview: “From the competition venues to the athletes’ village, everything is ready for what will be an outstanding games in Almaty. We’re excited to get there and compete.”
In the 2015’s Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, Canada won five medals, including bronze in women’s alpine skiing, women’s short-track speed skating, and men’s hockey, and silver in women’s curling and women’s hockey.
Since Canada started participating in the games, our teams have won the men’s hockey gold in all years but one.
Schofield’s job is not an easy one. He will be responsible for overseeing injuries and logistics for all Canadian athletes. Schofield has ample experience in these areas, since he works with U of T athletes at the David L. MacIntosh Sports Clinic and teaches in U of T’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.
This year’s Team Canada will compete in six sports: biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and curling. Fans can stream the games online.