TO HOST 2017 WINTER UNIVERSIADE
Astana, December 2:
The International University Sports Federation (FISU) Executive Committee
awarded the 2017 Winter Universiade to Almaty on November 29. The city remained
the only bidding candidate for the 2017 Winter Universiade with Trentino
withdrawing last week due to the economic situation in Italy.
Almaty City delegation led by Almaty Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov presented its
bid to host the Winter University Games. The delegation also included Kairat
Zakiriyanov, chairman of the Student Sports Federation of Kazakhstan, Vladimir
Smirnov, a legendary cross-country skier and the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic
champion in 50 kilometers, senior officials of the ministry of tourism and
sports, and the Almaty City Bidding Committee.
the FISU Executive Committee, Yessimov said the city authorities would do
everything to hold the Universiade at the highest possible level. He noted the
idea of participating in the race to host the Winter Universiade was supported
by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.
is situated in the heart of Eurasia. We represent the part of the world that
has never hosted a Universiade before. We are eager to promote with you the
philosophy and the humanistic values of the FISU in the eastern part of the continent
– the vast territory of ancient land in Central Asia,” Yessimov said. He added
that Almaty is the biggest city in Kazakhstan, its economic, cultural and
educational centre, and the cradle of Kazakhstan’s independence.
year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. We
want to turn Almaty into a new centre for tourism and winter sports. The city
has a developed sports infrastructure, which is the heritage of the Winter
Asian Games of 2011. We will construct new facilities – the new Ice Palace and
an athlete village for more than 20,000 participating students – needed for the
Universiade,” the city mayor said.
to Yessimov, the city authorities will provide all the necessary conditions for
participants of the Winter Student Games, from simplifying visa procedures to
ensuring security at the highest level.
FISU Executive Committee was confident in granting Almaty the 28th Winter
Universiade which was a strong bidding candidate and former co-host of the 2011
Asian Winter Games.
the announcement of the host city, Claude-Louis Gallien, FISU President, said
Almaty was a perfect place to hold the Universiade. “I am sure the Universiade
in Almaty will be very well organized, and I will provide my full support to
this. Your country now has to think about what’s going to happen after the
also said Almaty “has every opportunity to present a bid to host the Winter
when the climate change impacts holidays of so many, more and more people now
think about going to Almaty for their winter holidays. “Perhaps, Almaty could
become an alternative to the Alpine mountains,” the FISU President added.
also noted that he had supported Almaty as a candidate to host the Universiade,
for the city had the necessary sports facilities and infrastructure for
conducting sports events of such scale. On a visit to Kazakhstan, he said he
was surprised by the level of development of the city’s sports infrastructure.
“But a Universiade is not just an event for a couple of weeks. Great
preparatory work has to be done before the Games. And you can reap the fruits
of the Universiade for many years after it,” Gallien said.
in November, the FISU Evaluation Committee visited Almaty’s sports facilities,
including the skiing and biathlon complex, the Baluan Sholak Sports and Culture
Palace, the Medeo Alpine ice arena, the Shimbulak ski resort, and the
International ski-jump complex. At the final briefing, members of the
Evaluation Committee praised the sports facilities visited. They noted the
importance of such venues not only for the development of professional sports
but also of mass sports.
Zakiriyanov, head of the Kazakh Academy of Sports and Tourism, said: “In our
presentation we emphasised our political and economic stability, our experience
of hosting the 2011 Winter Asian Games, and the fact that Central Asia would be
interesting for the Federation in terms of expanding the geography of the
Universiade. I think Almaty’s victory in this contest is one of the most
glorious pages in the history of an independent Kazakhstan.”
also noted that over the twenty years of independence Kazakhstan’s students
have won twenty gold medals at different Universiades. “It’s a great success,
and it’s higher than the results of our athletes at the Olympics,” Zakiriyanov
Smirnov, an Olympic champion and a four-time world champion in cross-country
skiing, said this victory was important for the country celebrating the 20th
anniversary of its independence. “This outcome was extremely important, we have
been preparing for it, waiting for it. The Asiade left its positive trace on
us, so the jury had no doubt when choosing the host,” Kazakhstan’s famous skier
students of the Kazakh National University (KazNAU) welcomed the news about
Almaty officially becoming the host of the 28th Winter Universiade. “We are
very proud, and we surely support the FISU decision. It’s a real celebration to
us!” Olzhas Zholdasov, chairman of the KazNAU Student Union, said.
Bolysbayeva, head of the KazNAU Economics and Law Department, expressed an
opinion that KazNAU students’ volunteering experience during the Winter Asiade
had shown they would be ready to take part in the preparation for the
Universiade. “I am confident our students will be among participants and
winners of the Student Games,” Bolysbayeva said.
Universiade, a combination of the words “University” and “Olympiad”, is an
international multi-sports event, organized for university athletes by the
International University Sports Federation (FISU). The federation includes 153
member associations from 5 continental regions, and is the only international
federation with more than 50 sports on its competition programme. The
Universiade is the second largest international multi-sports event after the
Olympic Games, usually attracting athletes from more than 130 countries.
25th Winter Universiade was held in Erzurum, Turkey in January 2011. The next
Winter Games are to be held in 2013 in Maribor, Slovenia, and the Summer Games
– in Kazan, Russia, the same year. In 2015, the summer contest will be held in
Gwangju, South Korea, and the winter games in Granada, Spain. The Summer
Universiade of 2017 will take place in Taipei, Taiwan.