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25 September 2017 | in Winter Universiade, Multisports, Hosting

Six Questions with the Krasnoyarsk Winter Universiade 2019 Director General, Maxim Urazov

The leader says hosting the Winter Universiade gives the entire region around Krasnoyarsk the opportunity to tell their story to a worldwide audience 



The Krasnoyarsk Winter Universiade 2019 team is led by their Director General, Maxim Urazov 

Earlier this year, you were in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the Winter Universiade 2017. You saw golden performances, personal bests achieved, sportsmanship in action and the simple joy of student-athletes competing. What moment stands out the most from your time at the Winter Universiade?



It was, of course, the vibrant Opening and Closing ceremonies of the past Winter Universiade. Organization and script, all the nitty-gritty details were thought out thoroughly to impress the spectator. The bar we should now be aiming at was raised really high. However, I am sure we'll be able to pleasantly surprise our guests.



Of course, our athletes performed excellently, that's a tradition. What I remember the most is the women's hockey finals, where the Krasnoyarsk-based Biryusa team played Canada, our country's long-term ice hockey rival—and our girls won 4:1. Such prowess, such will to be victorious does inspire! The Winter Universiade 2019 in Krasnoyarsk shall witness even more such great sports moments.



I was positively impressed by the open-mindedness of our colleagues from Kazakhstan. The comfort of cooperation between the Winter Universiade 2019 Organizing Committee team and the Winter Universiade 2017 Organizing Committee, the constructive nature of experience sharing as a part of the Observer programme.


The positive atmosphere of the Winter Universiade 2017 was well complemented by the Pavilion of the upcoming Winter Universiade 2019 Krasnoyarsk, where we were talking about the upcoming contests, whereas visitors could take pictures of, and with our mascot, the ever-friendly U-Laika.



In addition to witnessing great sports performances, your team got a behind-the-scenes look at how the Almaty organisers delivered the Universiade. What was it like then when the Almaty organisers passed the FISU flag to your team at the Closing Ceremonies?


 From 2-12 March 2019 Krasnoyarsk hosts Russia's first-ever Winter Universiade. 3,000 athletes from all 5 continents are expected to compete. The city is preparing to host more than 10,000 guests.

The experience that the Winter Universiade 2017 organizers shared with us is indisputably of great value. While in Kazakhstan, we tried to assess every business process, to understand its control points, to find out the risks and how to minimize them. From the sports programme and the ceremonies to the FISU protocols.



Upon return to Krasnoyarsk, our team analyzed the operations of each functional area, to foresee every difficulty they may face. As a result, the Winter Universiade 2017 Debriefing took place in Krasnoyarsk this past May, during which we were able to effectively investigate various solutions for the organization and conduct of the Winter Universiade in Almaty.



When taking the FISU flag, we were excited and incredibly rejoiced to realize that the next Winter Universiade would take place in Krasnoyarsk. This is also going to be Russia's first time hosting the event.



I'd like to thank FISU for organizing such a fruitful cooperation with the Organizing Committee of the preceding Winter Universiade. Milan Augustin visited Krasnoyarsk as an inspector and reported he was confident about the Krasnoyarsk team's ability to hold the Winter Universiade 2019 in a proper and excellent manner thanks to the experience in international competitions organization, active reference to the Kazakhstan experience, as well as the professionalism of the team. I am grateful for such a nice opinion on what we do.



I imagine you feel a great sense of opportunity – and a little bit of pressure – to deliver a great Winter Universiade, both for the athletes and for your city. Is there a certain mentality you try to instill in everyone working on this major challenge?


 Krasnoyarsk 2019 organisers began testing their preparedness for the upcoming Winter Universiade by hosting the World Ski Orienteering Championships 2017

I am sure that the Winter Universiade 2019 is an excellent opportunity to tell more about our unique region, Krasnoyarsk Region, to Siberia, and to the entire world. Krasnoyarsk is a city that has over a million inhabitants, the cultural and economic center of a major region, a comfortable city. We want to open up our Siberian traditions and people's friendliness to the world.



For us, for the young Winter Universiade 2019 team, this is a unique experience. The invigorating spirits that every member in our young team boasts helps produce a great opportunity to show that harsh Siberian climate may host the world's warmest Winter Universiade.


Earlier this summer at the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy you said that “the Winter Universiade isn’t the finishing point for my city hosting large sports events, it’s only the start.” Why did you target the Winter Universiade as the first flagship event for the sports world to discover Krasnoyarsk?


 Krasnoyarsk organisers are helping build the capabilities of future sports leaders through their volunteer programme. To find out more how you can get involved, visit the official website at www.krsk2019.com.

Of course, we believe that the Winter Universiade 2019 is a goal we are currently making efforts to achieve. At the same time, this event is a milestone that lays the foundations of major sports life in our region.



The infrastructure that has begun to reform as a part of the Games preparations will be fundamental for the development of sports in Siberia. We are doing a lot, and what we do will enable Krasnoyarsk Region to gradually transform into the Siberian and Far-Eastern center for winter sports. Our region is a candidate for numerous national and international sports events.



Over 30 sports, transport, and medical facilities are currently under construction in the city. The existing sports venues will be reconstructed to meet international requirements.



A new terminal at Yemelyanovo International Airport with convenient road interchanges, as well as hotels, campings, restaurants, and other facilities are being built for the guests of the city. For the event, the city will have restored its cultural monuments for tourists and citizens to see our compatriots' best artworks.



What does hosting the Winter Universiade do economically for Krasnoyarsk? Will this open up this Siberian city as a bigger winter sports destination centre?


Krasnoyarsk organisers say they expect to gain many legacy benefits by hosting the Winter Universiade in 2019. A new ice arena (pictured) is one infrastructure benefit to complement the region's volunteer movement and educational events 

Certainly, Krasnoyarsk will profit from the Winter Universiade 2019. As I have already mentioned, hosting such event improves the city infrastructure. This boosts civil engineering and road construction. Boosted engineering and construction gives momentum to construction material and ancillary goods manufacturers.



Besides, the event creates new jobs at the venues and other infrastructures. We expect the service industry to gain additional momentum as well. Krasnoyarsk will soon obtain new chain restaurants and hotels, as well as local establishments with a Siberian flavor. The Winter Universiade 2019 catalyzes these processes.



Of course, such a large-scale event will make Krasnoyarsk Region more recognizable internationally. This will give bonus points to the local companies trying to penetrate into international markets, while also making the region more attractive for investors.



Local companies will also benefit from licensing these Games and manufacturing Universiade-branded goods. By means of such goods, test event and competition attendees will be able to familiarize themselves with local products. Our existing partners who derive certain image-related and marketing bonuses are therefore actively promoting this practice.



Are there other legacy effects that hosting the Winter Universiade will open up for Krasnoyarsk and the university sports movement?


Krasnoyarsk 2019 organisers set up a pavilion at the Almaty Winter Universiade 2017. This was an ideal way for fans, media and athletes looking to compete at the next winter edition could learn more about the 2019 hosts. 

Krasnoyarsk will, of course, gain a lot of legacy factors by hosting the Winter Universiade 2019. This year, the Organizing Committee approved the programme of the 29th Winter Universiade 2019 in Krasnoyarsk legacy. The document describes the infrastructure the city is to inherit from the event: new and reconstructed venues and health facilities, improved transportation and facilitiies of the Siberian Federal University. This will help the region develop while also being a booster for student sports.



The Siberian Federal University will obtain new facilities and expand its infrastructure, thus coming to a considerably higher level; this is yet another legacy point that the city is to gain. Of course, this will attract ever more students, who will live in new and fancy student hostels, and study in new campus buildings.



Legacy is not limited to tangible assets alone; volunteer movement and educational programmes will see major developments in the region, which is an example of intangible legacy. Young people involved in such major international events will acquire new knowledge, skills, and competencies.


The availability of new facilities and platforms is of utmost importance. It is the availability thereof that will generate events and make young students actually interested in what's going on. Thanks to the Winter Universiade, we will host the FISU Forum in our city; the Forum is a test event held in preparations for the Winter Universiade 2019. World experts will inspect the city's infrastructure and share best practices, knowledge, and ideas in the field of student sports.


The Forum is primarily targeted at discussing the relevant issues of student sports development and cooperation of national university sports federations from around the world. As a part of the event, we will organize a wide-range educational programme, FISU partners' and the Organizing Committee's workshops, numerous cultural and sports master classes for students, the key participants.


To sum it up, I emphasize that the Winter Universiade 2019 will considerably alter our city, laying the foundations for the meaningful development of the region in the future.






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