For nearly four decades, a unique tournament combining Vietnamese culture with competitive sports has been growing and thriving deep in the heart of Texas. This year, it’s coming to Downtown Arlington.
The Asian Olympic Games, or Đại Hội Thể Thao, are scheduled for March 17-19 at the University of Texas at Arlington. A multi-sport tournament for Asian Americans, the Games began in 1980 at University of Texas in Austin. Since its inception, the games have rotated between UT Austin, UT Arlington and Texas A&M and are organized by the Vietnamese Student Associations of each host institution.
According to the website, this year’s tournament is expected to draw over 1,500 participants from more than 15 universities. Teams are comprised of players with any degree of Asian ancestry plus up to one non-Asian player. The tournament includes basketball, soccer, flag football, tennis and volleyball.
Net proceeds raised from this year’s Asian Olympic Games will benefit the Catalyst Foundation’s Project Backpack. Project Backpack supports disadvantaged families in a rural area of Vietnam through a variety of programs including primary and secondary schools, health services, education about trafficking, children rights and child development, and teaching sustainable and practical means of earning an income.
By any measure, Arlington and UT Arlington are richly diverse communities. The City of Arlington ranked 15th among large cities in terms of cultural diversity, according to WalletHub. Similarly, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT Arlington fifth among national universities for undergraduate ethnic diversity.
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About Downtown Arlington
An official State of Texas Cultural District, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Downtown Arlington brings together a plethora of cultures and inspirations with a character all its own.