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2013 Summer Universiade

Kazan (RUS)

2013 Summer Kazan

  • 162 Nations participating
  • 10442 Athletes participating
  • 27 sports


The first Universiade organised by the Russian Federation, Summer or Winter, was held in Kazan in 2013, and it turned out to be an event of unprecedented scale in the history of the World University Games.


The 27th Summer Universiade attracted more than 10,400 athletes and officials from 159 countries who took part in 27 sports, 14 of which were optional sports: belt wrestling, boxing, rugby sevens, sambo and synchronized swimming made their Universiade debut in Kazan.


There were increases of 1,035 participants and eight countries compared to the previous Games held in Shenzhen, China, which had beaten Kazan for the hosting rights of the 2011 Universiade. Japan alone – third in the medal standings behind Russia and China – dispatched a 610-strong delegation (second only to Russia) and entered in every discipline.


Kazan spent six years preparing for the Games, the city determined to establish itself as one of Russia’s sport hubs. Of the 49 venues used, 30 were built specifically for the Universiade, whose Director of Games, Vladimir Leonov, spoke volumes about the impact they, as well as the other infrastructure constructed in the build-up, would have on Kazan’s future.


“The legacy here in Kazan is enormous and I have to tell you that among all the facilities planed for the Universiade, only two were used for the first time during this event,” Leonov said during the Opening Ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who declared the Games open.


“Our strength is our youth. Thanks to our sports project, of which the Universiade has been the backbone, we have been able to radically transform the city. Literally, we have done everything in only five years, whereas without sport it would have taken twenty! Thanks to the Universiade, we now know what we can do and that gives us great confidence in the future.”


Russia overwhelmed not just on the organisational side of things but on the field of play, too. The host nation won nearly half of the gold medals awarded (156) and more than a quarter of all medals that were given out (292), both Universiade records. The Russians’ medal tally was superior than the next four countries combined – China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Belarus.