Delegates from Norway, Belarus, Sweden and Ukraine visiting the Stadium for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Today, the heads of delegation from more than 20 countries had a chance to visit some of the sports infrastructures and accommodations. At this traditionally very important meeting, our Turkish hosts were attentive to all comments, which enabled them to iron out certain details. The Winter Universiade Supervision Committee led by Kairis Ulp was also active, meeting several times with the officials from the various departments to go over the state of progress and the organization.
And indeed, it was another session of important meetings and inspections in Erzurum. Today was the first day of the Heads of Delegations' visit in the city which will organize the 25th Winter Universiade next January. The delegates were first invited to a presentation at the Palan Hotel. Welcomed by Bekir Korkmaz, General Coordinator of the 2011 Erzurum Winter Universiade, Kairis Ulp, CSU Chair and Kemal Tamer, FISU Assessor and President of the Turkish University Sports Federation, the delegates had the opportunity to look to a video presentation which summarizes all the aspects of the organization of the next Winter Universiade. Bekir Korkmaz, then took the floor to give some details to the Heads of Delegation such as the Visa Application procedure, the participation fees, the accreditation, the catering and accommodation, the ceremonies and the transportation system.
After this brief report the HoDs were invited to conduct a series of inspections. The Athletes' Village was the first step.
All the athletes will stay together in the same village that has been erected on the campus of Erzurum's Ataturk University itself. Buildings that can house 3800 persons are either new or renovated. The new constructions are facing the ski jumping venue, so the student athletes will almost be able to admire the events out their windows. More seriously, we also note that it is quite unusual to have a winter Athletes' Village in the middle of a university campus. This is a real advantage for us, knowing that most of the volunteer active in the event will be coming from the university itself. Also, it is becoming increasingly rare to be able to organize Winter Games while accommodating all the athletes in a single village. But Erzurum has managed this. The city has the good luck to be located in a very broad valley, at an altitude of 2000 meters. So the infrastructures for snow sports can be relatively near those used for ice sports. It doesn't take more than half an hour to get to the farthest sites – and this is exceptional. In addition, there will be no problem with traffic jams here.
During their visit the HoDs had the opportunity to inspect the Athletes' Village very deeply: accreditation centre, rooms, HoDs rooms, medical rooms, fitness centre, shopping centre, dining hall, etc. After a lunch in the Village, the HoDs spent the afternoon session to inspect the ice rinks in Erzurum and the stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremonies.
Tomorrow, the Heads of Delegation will go to Palandöken, to Konakli and to Kandili to inspect the alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing and biathlon venues. They will also visit the ski jumping venue.
(Text and pictures by Yvan Dufour)
From left to right, Kairis Ulp, CSU Chair, Bekir Korkmaz, General Coordinator of the 2011 Erzurum Winter Universiade and Kemal Tamer, President of the Turkish University Sports Federation
Vincent Rognon from France (left) with Jukka Tirri from Finland during the roll call
Inspection of the Figure Skating Venue