30 january

The flame of XXVIII Winter Universiade 2017 lit in Almaty

Almaty (Republic of Kazakhstan); January 29, 2017: - Representatives of 16 regions of Kazakhstan lit the cauldron of the 28th Winter Universiade declaring opening of the world winter university games in Almaty.

About 1,700 university athletes representing 57 countries marched in a colorful opening ceremony at the Almaty Ice Palace on Sunday night. The athletes will compete in 12 sports during the Winter Universiade, Jan. 28 – Feb. 8. as 88 sets of medals are on offer.

Two hours vibrant opening ceremony took place in newly constricted Almaty Ice Palace in front of 12 000 spectators and honorable guests including the president of Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, International University Sports Federation (FISU) president Oleg Matytsin, the president of Kazakhstan National Olympic Committee Timur Kulibayev.

In the welcoming address the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated everybody with the start of this major sports event in Almaty and expressed gratitude for those, who were working hard to deliver the event stressing the attention on 3000 volunteers involved and FISU president Oleg Matytsin.

He also highlighted the country’s rich history, Almaty’s young generation and universities, existing and newly build venues for Winter Universiade.

“Almaty is a 1,000-year old city, the cradle of independence where the new age of Kazakhstan began. It is a dynamic and modern city, a business hub and a driver of the country’s economy. It is a city of young people, a city of students – one third of all universities in Kazakhstan are located here, where 137,000 students study”, said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

“A legendary rink, Medeu, which is loved by everybody, will regain its former glory and will breathe in the atmosphere of immense competition. Shymbulak will shine like a diamond in the crown of the Zailiisky Ski Alatau. The Universiade will become an anthem to a healthy lifestyle. Its effect will be like that of a state program to strengthen the health of our nation”.

The FISU president Oleg Matytsin also addressed the audience deeming Universiade “the greatest event in the sport history of Kazakhstan.” He thanked the Kazakh president, citizens of Kazakhstan and those who contributed “hard work” helping to stage the Universiade.

“I am convinced that the legacy of Universiade will become an important factor of Almaty prosperity for many years ahead”, said Oleg Matytsin.

The president of International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach did not appear at the opening ceremony, but sent a welcoming video-message to the athletes.

“The next days will be the time to make great memories – all the fans and participants will experience unforgettable moments on the snow and ice as you celebrate this Universiade,” Thomas Bach said in his speech.

“From my own experience of participating in the Universiade, when I was a student just a few short years ago, I know of the excitement that an athlete feels before the competition finally starts,” Bach said. “So I wish all athletes all the best – this is your time to shine in the sport you love. For many of you, this Universiade will be an important milestone in your sporting career. Spread your wings and you will achieve great things.”

The organizers of the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty are confident that the international sports event of this scale will contribute to the worldwide image of the country. Participant and spectators will get an opportunity to see and experience the rich cultural heritage of Kazakhstan, get aquainted with the country of multicultural values.

Photo credit: akorda.kz;

Izturgan Aldauyev (Content Bureau)