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3rd Winter Universiade

Czechoslovakia, Špindlerův Mlýn
11 Feb 1964 - 17 Feb 1964

Banking on its extensive experience hosting worldclass sporting events, the Špindlerův Mlýn 1964 Winter Universiade was not only organised by the book but also intensely competitive, with many of the athletes coming directly from the Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, which had wrapped up only 10 days earlier. The short turnaround and proximity to the Winter Olympic host city created a win-win situation for both organisers and participants, making Špindlerův Mlýn an easy sell and cost effective for athletes to attend.

Some of Europe’s best skiers hit the slopes at the 1964 Universiade. West Germany’s Fritz Wagnerberger swept the slalom and downhill, and Frenchwoman Annie Famose also did the double, winning the downhill and super giant slalom. In the lone gold medal for the host nation, Czech Karol Divin won the inaugural men’s figure skating event, while Miwa Fukuhara of Japan topped the women’s side.

The 1964 Winter Universiade garnered unseen media attention for a university meet, drawing almost 100 journalists from 13 countries to cover the six-day event. When the local organisers passed the torch to Sestriere, Italy, for the 4th Winter Universiade, it felt like more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye” to the Games. Špindlerův Mlýn was such a success that the Universiade would happily make its way back to the Czech resort only 14 years later for the 9th Winter edition in 1978.

key facts

21 Countries participating

285 Athletes participating

5 Sports