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31 January 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Winter Universiade, Multisports

27th Winter Universiade Part 1: A Success

STRBSKE PLESO - The first part of the 27th Winter Universiade is coming to an end, an opportunity to take a first technical assessment of these competitions with Roger Roth, the Chair of the International Technical Committee for the Winter Universiade.


“Everything went perfect, the facilities have been upgraded for our Universiade, the jumping hill now reaches the technical standards of a World Cup event, and the cross-country ski trails were also very well prepared. The course of the latter was particularly physical with climbs and technical descents, very, very high level. The medals were not for free and the nations that competed here were therefore particularly strong. In Osrblie, on the biathlon venue, we missed a bit of snow at the start which made the tracks quite heavy, but everything was back to normal on the second day with perfect tracks.

The Russian teams dominated all disciplines. The Russian sports federations have decided to invest heavily in university sports and RSSU has set up a specific selection programme which is seemingly working. It would be desirable for the beauty of the sport that other nations will do the same. Actually, I don’t doubt it, I think that this Russian dominance will be an additional motivation for other countries to step up their preparations.

The Slovak organizers had very little time to prepare for the event, but they were helped by the layout of the sites. Competition venues were close to the hotels and therefore there was no transport problem. I am also a strong supporter to allow athletes a quick access to the sports venues without having to spend a lot of time traveling. This is the third time I come to Strbske Pleso as part of the Winter Universiade and I must say I have never been disappointed, everything has been beautifully prepared.

We are indebted to our friends of the Slovak University Sports Federation who have reached out and offered us their help with much kindness.

In FISU we have tried to be as flexible as possible in order to adapt to the situation and I must say that with the Local Organising Committee, we have been able to develop simple and effective solutions without jeopardizing our standards. For example, the Opening Ceremony was very friendly and adapted to the location and all delegations enjoyed it I think. Of course, fireworks and a big show are nice too and we like that, but sometimes it is necessary to return to smaller ceremonies in order to invest in sport. It is also a signal that FISU sends to countries to tell them that the organisation of a Winter Universiade can also be done without resorting to huge budgets.

The Athletes' Village for example, is not a prerequisite for the Games. We had already understood that in Trentino in 2013 and again this year. The lack of a Village allows smoother logistics and this without harming the social side so indispensable for our University Games. We must remain very open and willing to implement innovative solutions, as we have always done at FISU.”


An interview by Yvan Dufour, Editor-in-Chief - Photos by Roman Benicky