From 10 to 13 June, more than 1300 athletes came together in the beautiful city of Grenoble for the 17th Atomiade Summer Games, hosted by AS CEA-ST (the sports club of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), supported by CEA-Grenoble). Just under 80 competitors represented CERN in multiple disciplines including athletics, basketball, golf, tennis, table tennis, football, volleyball, cycling, mountain biking, swimming and trail running. Out of a total of 27 teams, CERN finished in 12th place, with 8 gold medals (tennis, swimming) 13 silver medals (athletics, basketball, swimming) and 26 bronze (athletics, football, table tennis and swimming), the team’s best result on record.
The governing body overseeing such Atomiade events, ASCERI (Association of the Sports Communities of the European Research Institutes), aims to contribute to a united Europe through regular sports meetings, bringing together members of public research institutes across Europe. The Association’s members come from over 42 research institutes spanning 16 countries. (Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ASCERI took the decision to suspend the membership of Russian sport associations with immediate effect, in line with the peaceful principles of ASCERI.)
Sustainability was at the heart of this year’s summer Atomiade, with all sports venues easily accessible via public transport. It was a zero-plastic event, and locally sourced and seasonal produce was served in the picnic lunches and at the evening dinners. Conviviality and friendly competition are other key ingredients of the summer Atomiade: one CERN athlete commented that “despite the fact that we’re competing, my fellow athletes are only too happy to share tips and techniques to help me improve my performance, which resulted in a bronze medal!” After the effort and competition on Saturday and Sunday, participants came together at the Alpexpo venue to continue networking with fellow athletes from scientific institutes across Europe in a relaxed and celebratory environment. “After a hiatus of three years, it’s wonderful to reunite with old friends and connect with new ones,” commented one member of the CERN team.
Both the Staff Association and the CERN Management were strong supporters of the CERN team, having contributed to registration costs and provided the team with a distinctive CERN T-shirt, which participants wore proudly.
The next ASCERI event on the calendar is the mini Atomiade, to be hosted in Berlin in summer 2023. More information to follow soon on the ASCERI website.