On April 16, over 900 athletes, skilled in everything from backgammon to basketball and track, will converge upon the University of Rhode Island in Kingston to promote friendship, cultural understanding, and respect among students of many different nationalities.
The International Olympics, started in 1978 by the International Student Association of New England, will include participants from 20 colleges in the New England area. In addition to the athletic competitions, festivities will include ethnic food, the Rhode Island dance company, and cultural fairs. All proceeds will go to UNICEF.
An important aspect of the day, notes Wasseem S. Kabbara, president of the student association, is to encourage the study of international issues and culture in the New England area. Pointing out that ''everyone is international, '' Kabbara hopes that such events can expand interest in and understanding of other countries among all participants and observers, be they American or from overseas. In the past, the Olympics have attracted over 10,000 spectators.
The day before the event, the Olympic torch will be run from Babson College in Wellesley, to URI. Anyone interested can participate in the torch run as well as one running event on April 16.
For further information, contact the Olympics committee at (617) 325-8220.m