The Universiade (University Games) is a large, multi-national, multi-sport athletic competition for college/university students. It is coordinated and staged by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland (2011-present); at the time of the 1983 Edmonton University Games, the Federation had its offices in Brussels, Belgium (1949-2011).
In 1983, Edmonton, Alberta was host to the Universiade (a word made by combining "University" and "Olympiad") and the Royal Canadian Mint (R C M) issued a commemorative silver dollar (SD) to help celebrate the occasion.
The Universiade has mostly been held in Europe and Asia. Since the Summer version began in 1963, the Games have been held 30 times. They have been held in either North or South America just four times - once in Brazil (1963), once in Mexico (1979), once in Canada (1983) and once in the United States (1993). In contrast, the Games have been held in Europe 14 times and 12 times in Asia
The Winter version of the Games was launched in 1960; as with the Summer version, they are held about every two years. The Winter Games have largely been held in Europe. Of the 29 Games held so far, 23 have been hosted in Europe, five in Asia and one in North America (United States, 1972).
The Edmonton Games featured ~2,400 athletes from 73 countries competing in 118 events distributed across 10 sports. Canada won 38 medals in total (good for third place behind the Soviet Union and the United States). It won 9 Gold medals, 10 Silver and 19 Bronze.
The commemorative reverse of the silver dollar was designed by Carola Tietz of Ottawa. Per the Mint, the design "features a track and field athlete behind the Universiade logo: a twist of the victory ribbon which forms the letter 'U' for university and the lower-case "e" for Edmonton, into which are sunk the dove of peace and the maple leaf, emblem of the host country." Commenting on her design at the time of the coin's release, Tietz stated "The central figure in my design...is an athlete in action. Movement towards the viewer is meant to convey the impression of effort towards a goal, in a spirit of joyful competition."1983 University Games at Edmonton Silver Dollar
The ribbon seen on the coin was part of the official logo of Universiade '83 in Edmonton. The Edmonton logo included the five colours seen on the logo of FISU, which are meant to symbolize the universal nature of sports around the world. Mint engravers represented the ribbon's colours by engraving specific line patterns for each colour. Check them out on the included coin image!
The SD was struck on a 0.500 fine silver planchet with a diameter of 36.07 millimeters and a weight of 23.33 grams. The coin was available in proof for $16.15 CAD and in Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) for $10.85. The coin did not have a specified mintage limit; coins could be order beginning on March 3, 1983 and continue on through November 30, 1983. By the time the ordering period was over, the totals stood at 340,068 Proof and 159,450 BU - much higher than today's SD mintage figures, but rather routine for the early years of Canada's non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) silver dollar program.
For more posts about Canadian commemorative coins and medals, check out: Read More: Commems Collection