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13 February 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Winter Universiade, FISU

FISU Press Conference: the 27th WU, Innovative Games in Difficult Times

GRANADA - On Friday 13 February, FISU hosted its traditional press conference, one day prior to the closing of the games. The press conference was attended by Claude-Louis Gallien, FISU President, Eric Saintrond, Secretary General/CEO, José Torres Hurtado, Mayor of Granada and Sandra Garcia, representative of the Government of Granada.

The FISU President initially spoke and praised the success of the Universiade: "We knew that it would not be an easy Universiade to organise due to the circumstances. FISU and all the stakeholders had to be innovative to develop this Universiade. And we proved it was possible to successfully organize a competition in two cities and two countries! But we want to avoid the danger that such situations occur again in the future. This must remain an exceptional case."

The President then listed the impressive figures of the Universiade: 2,362 participants (athletes and officials), 392 athletes in Slovakia and 1,180 athletes in Granada, thus a total of 1,572 athletes, 540 universities represented; 42 nations from 5 continents (31 in Slovakia and 41 in Spain), 20 days of competition (9 in Slovakia, 11 in Spain), 10 training and competition venues and a total of nearly 60,000 spectators (of which only 50,000 in Spain). Some stadiums have even had to turn spectators away ...


Fr. l. to r. Eric Saintrond, FISU SG/CEO, Claude-Louis Gallien, FISU President, José Torres Hurtado, Granada Mayor & Sandra Garcia, representative of the Government of Granada

"We have noticed a growing interest on the part of our member federations. The level of participants is very high," Claude-Louis Gallien continues. "Take the example of Russia, which has so far won nearly a quarter of all medals at stake: a delegation of 179 athletes, nearly a tenth of all participants." Other nations have also sent a large contingent of athletes: China (94 athletes), Canada (82), United States (117), Kazakhstan (89), Japan (97), not forgetting, of course, the two host countries, Slovakia (56) and Spain (78).
Many top athletes have also participated in the Universiade. Patrizia Kummer is the best example. This Swiss athlete, currently a Master of Psychology student at the University of Berne, won the gold medal of the 2015 Universiade in PGS, having just won the Olympic title in Sochi in 2014. "But the Universiade is not only a competition. This is an event where friendships are created. The atmosphere is different from professional competitions. The pressure is less. In addition, many less experienced athletes have the opportunity to compete against elite athletes", said Claude-Louis Gallien.
"The Universiade is a unique platform for meetings and exchange for all stakeholders in the world of University Sport. This year, representatives of the Organizing Committee of the 2017 Almaty WU, the 2019 Krasnoyarsk WU and the cities of Lucerne and Beijing, potential candidates for the WU in 2021, as well as delegates from the 2015 Gwangju SU and 2017 Taipei SU were present. Their presence is of paramount importance for the future of University Sports", the FISU President added.


Claude-Louis Gallien, FISU president & José Torres Hurtado, Granada Mayor


Eric Saintrond continued to list the figures for media coverage of the Universiade: 150 hours of television production (44 in Slovakia and 106 in Spain), 105 hours of broadcast competitions on Eurosport. Several other national television channels also broadcast the competitions of the Universiade: KZTV, RTR, CCTV, CZTV, and CBSSN.
In social media, the FISU Twitter account @FISUnetwork has also exploded: 191,900 impressions over a period of 9 days (from 4/2 to 13/2), for an average of 23,300 impressions per day. "I want to thank the OC for all the good work done in a very short time", Eric Saintrond said.
Then, the floor was given to Granada Mayor José Torres Hurtado to speak and thank the FISU President and Secretary General/CEO and all the staff for the Universiade. "Thanks to Granada in 2015, friendships are woven and people gathered. We lived two great weeks in the company of top student-athletes who will be the future leaders of our world. I also hope that our new permanent ice rink will allow the city of Granada to promote the development of ice sports in the region."
The last word was for Claude-Louis Gallien, "I am confident that the Universiade will leave a positive legacy in the two host countries of the 27th Winter Universiade. A big thank you to the staff of the FISU, a big thank you to the local organizing committees and volunteers, but above all, MUCHAS GRACIAS A TODOS! ".

David Vandenplas, Media Assistant - Photos Yuan Ren, Media Assistant