The 1991 Summer Universiade, also known as the XVI Summer Universiade, took place in Sheffield, England. In the host country it was generally referred to as the World Student Games.
Sheffield City Council saw the event as a catalyst for urban renewal after industrial decline. It set up a company, Universiade GB Ltd, to run the games. Lack of central government funding and television sponsorship meant the event was in doubt until the Council guaranteed the money itself, in the face of complaints from local ratepayers. New facilities built for the event included the centrepiece Don Valley Stadium and other arenas, while the Lyceum Theatre was renovated for the associated cultural events. The opening ceremony attracted publicity when Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut, tripped and dropped the games torch. The flames were finally lit by the ignitor in the flame bowl itself as the torch had gone completely out.