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25 March 2020 | in COVID-19 updates

Coronavirus impact on Winter Universiade 2021 test events

In these extraordinary circumstances with the noval coronavirus, sport event cancellations has also applied to several test events for the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade. Set to take place from 21-31 January 2021 in Central Switzerland and Lenzerheide, the 30th Winter Universiade is fully on-track, with athlete and public health always of paramount concern to FISU and its key stakeholders in the university sport community.

Stoos Roger BetschartThe Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade competition grounds of Stoos is a car-free village beside a ski resort that is only accessed by a ride straight up the mountain in the world’s steepest funicular. (Photo credit, Roger Betschart)

With the world coming to a grinding halt due to COVID-19, combating the spread of the current strain of the coronavirus is the top priority, both globally and locally. Due to this, several test events planned for Winter Universiade will not take place until further notice.


Lucerne2020 Engelberg Foto Engelberg TitlisThe canceled test events are the FIS Super G races on the Stoos ski resort, the second half of the Swiss Cross-Country Skiing Championships in Andermatt-Realp, a curling tournament at the Sporting Park in Engelberg, an ice hockey test game at the Bossard Arena in Zug, as well as the FIS Freeski World Cup Corvatsch which would have involved the local organising committee of Engelberg.


The premiere university multisport event for disciplines taking place on the snow and ice, the 30th Winter Universiade will be hosted in Central Switzerland and Lenzerheide as a joint project between the city of Lucerne and the six cantons of Central Switzerland Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden and Zug. The 11-day event programme comprises ten sporting disciplines, which will be contested at seven event venues. Over 2,500 individuals for more than 550 universities in 50+ countries are anticipated to attend. 


Health is our number one priority

Lucerne2021 AndermattRealp NNschen Valentin LuthigerSurrounded by the convergence of eight alpine passes, the Andermatt-Realp is an ideal snow-secure terrain and venue to test the world's best university cross-country skiers

Alongside FISU, the Lucerne 2021 organisers are closely following all COVID-19 developments. The local organising committee's management board and its board of directors, chaired by Lucerne Health and Social Affairs Director Guido Graf, have set up a project group led by Director Government Relations and Risk Management Beat Hensler to plan various scenarios in case the current assessment changes.


“Given the current situation, it is important that we evaluate all the options and discuss them openly", says Organising Committee President Guido Graf. "The health of everyone involved is paramount.”