Marching pass of the athletes
CÓRDOBA - The 1st European Universities Games were launched Saturday July 14th with the Opening ceremony, which took part in the evening at the Fontanar Stadium in Córdoba, Spain. Over 2,000 people were present – including university teams participants, coming from 32 countries and with over 250 teams representing 151 universities in Europe.
The opening ceremony started with the march pass of the athletes, who were cheered on by the local spectators, team supporters, as well as by the representatives of the highest local authorities, university, regional and national figures and the representatives of the European University Sports Association, the International University Sports Association (FISU), other continental university sports associations and other guests.
On behalf of EUSA the opening speech was given by Mr Alberto Gualtieri, Honorary President of the organisation. He welcomed all the participants and stressed that despite the far-from-optimal times the future is bright as it lies on the young people who are here today, and are the new leaders of tomorrow. Vice-Mayor of Córdoba Mrs Laura Ruiz Moral welcomed all participants and guests to the city, expressing pride that Córdoba was chosen to be the city of the first edition of the Games, which got wide support from the city, region, state and eventually the King of Spain. The official speeches were concluded by the Rector of the University of Córdoba prof. dr. José Manuel Roldán Nogueras who also greeted all participants, congratulated them on being positive role-models and just before declaring the games open, wishing all of them best of luck.
EUSA Board and other VIPs
The EUSA flag was then brought to the stadium, being hoisted accompanied by a life performance of Gaudeamus Igitur, the EUSA and FISU anthem. A dynamic cultural program followed, starting with parachute gliders arriving to the stadium from the air.
All the participants then enjoyed the acrobatics programme, traditional show of flamenco dancing and complex and detailed art of rope-skipping – all performed by the local youth groups. During the programme, artists made a real-time painting which was displayed at the end of the programme, which was a tribute to all the volunteers involved in the event.
In the morning prior to the Opening ceremony, the Rector of the University of Córdoba invited the representatives of the Executive Committee of EUSA and FISU, including the representatives of the continental university sports federations from Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania, along with colleague rectors and other guests to a reception at the Rectorate of the University.
EUSA President Mr Adam Roczek thanked Mr Roldan, the Rector, for his hospitality and gave a symbolic gift to the hosting University, as well as to Mr Torres Aguilar, the President of the Organising Committee. The floor was also given to Mr Oleg Matytsin, the 1st Vice-President of the International University Sports Association, who congratulated EUSA on this important step, and thanked the hosts with a special plaque. Last, but not least, the Director of the University of Rotterdam Mrs Pauline van der Meer Mohr as the host of the next edition of the Games presented a drawing of Erasmus.
FISU 1st Vice-President Oleg Matytsin
Although the Opening Ceremony predominated the day, Saturday also saw the start of the preliminary matches in beach volleyball and volleyball, continuation of matches in football and badminton players had a day off before proceeding with the individual competitions tomorrow.
(Source: Andrej Pisl, EUSA Communications)Read more