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17 June 2013 | in Multisports, Summer FISU World University Games

1st Deputy PM Shuvalov inspects Preparations for Kazan Universiade

KAZAN - With just 22 days remaining until the start of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Games, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Shuvalov visited Kazan, inspected the key Universiade venues and conducted a workshop on preparations for the event.

Immediately upon his arrival in the city, Igor Shuvalov viewed the new terminal of the Kazan International Airport, where Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate Vladimir Leonov informed him that 80% of the Universiade participants will be arriving in Kazan by air from Moscow airports as well as from Dubai and Istanbul. During the Universiade period, the airport will receive 23 flights each day.

The First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia took a look around the new terminal and commended its quality. "It is already a working terminal, and you can see that it is fully functional. Well done!" concluded Igor Shuvalov. He also visited the old terminal No 1 where reconstruction is nearly finished. At the Games time, it will service flights that are not related to the Universiade. In the future, the newly modernised terminal is planned to be used primarily for charter flights.

At the Aeroexpress Terminal, Igor Shuvalov purchased a ticket using his Universiade accreditation badge. The First Deputy Prime Minister got on the high-speed train Lastochka (Swallow) which took him to Kazan where he inspected the renovated railway complex in the centre of Kazan. The Chairman of the Summer Universiade Organising Committee inquired when the car park was due to open at the railway station. The developer company's management assured him that the opening of the important infrastructure facility is scheduled for 25 June.

At the Kozya Sloboda underground station, Igor Shuvalov was shown the passenger inspection systems and information panels. After that, Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister travelled in the driver's cabin along the new underground line – which had been built as part of the preparations for the 2013 Summer Universiade – to the train's final destination, Aviastroitelnaya station.

Shuvalov with Mutko and Parshikova at the Kazan Arena Stadium

The First Deputy Prime Minister entered the Kazan Arena Stadium presenting a ticket – one of those that will be used at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games. Igor Shuvalov asked how spectators will be finding their way to the stadium, and Kazan's Mayor Ilsur Metshin said that there will be special shuttle buses that will take spectators directly to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Universiade, and later on visitors will be able to use the large car park next to the stadium to park their vehicles.

On the stadium premises, Igor Shuvalov viewed the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) of the upcoming Summer Universiade, the catering area and the spectator stands.

The stadium being one of the key venues of the Kazan 2013 SU legacy porgramme, the First Deputy Prime Minister called upon the city authorities to actively use it after the Games. "The stadium must be put to active use, it should always have something happening here," stated Igor Shuvalov.

He also visited the Rowing Centre as well as a new block of flats constructed under the programme designed to promote the development of affordable rental housing. This building will accommodate non-Kazan volunteers during the Universiade period. According to Director of the Tatarstan Presidential State Housing Foundation Talgat Abdullin, the cost of the building was 25,000 roubles per square metre, and the flats will be rented out at below-market prices. 

At the Republican Clinical Hospital which will be providing medical services for the Summer Universiade, Igor Shuvalov was shown a new reception ward with an intensive care unit. The construction of new facilities and the provision of the hospital with state-of-the-art equipment were carried out under the federal programme for the modernisation of healthcare.

In the Universiade Village, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia visited Building No 5 – it is where Russia's national team will be staying. Member of the Russian national team Alexander Furasyev, who met with Igor Shuvalov two years ago at the previous Universiade in Shenzhen, shared his opinion on living conditions in the Universiade Village in Kazan compared with those in China. In his view, there is more light in the rooms of the Universiade Village in Kazan and they don't have those uncomfortable bunk beds. "I like it – it's simple and functional," Igor Shuvalov agreed with the athlete's feedback.  

The First Deputy Prime Minister also inspected the Main Restaurant of the Universiade Village – a purpose-built temporary structure for 3,500 seats.

Later on, at the Main International Centre (MIC), Igor Shuvalov told the media that he was happy with the progress of the preparations for the Summer Universiade in Kazan. "Work is nearly done; literally in a matter of days, it will be all completed. Virtually all the sites that we have seen today are in excellent condition, even those about which we have had some fears and doubts," underlined Igor Shuvalov.

In his opinion, Kazan has changed considerably since the start of the preparations for the Universiade. "Kazan of 2013 and Kazan of 2009 are different images of the same city. Today we have visited an underground station, we have seen traffic interchanges – a lot has been done," noted the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.

"Kazan is now a city of a totally different scale. People will be coming here from across the country to engage in science, education, sports, and, for all those who will want to live here, there are enormous opportunities for development," assured Igor Shuvalov.

Talking about the Kazan Arena Stadium, which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Universiade, Igor Shuvalov emphasised that the venue was totally ready. "The stadium is ready, all systems are working, very shortly the rehearsals of the Opening Ceremony will be held here – first with the stands half-full and then 100% full" said the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.

In his turn, Sports Minister of the Russian Federation Vitaly Mutko reported that Russia's national university team will be set the task to fight for the first place in the overall medal count. "We want our best athletes to compete at the Universiade in Kazan. Our team will have 25 Olympic champions and about 160 Merited Masters of Sport," announced Vitaly Mutko.

According to him, it is the first time that the Russian Government has taken a decision to reward athletes for Universiade medals. The rewards will be moderate, similar to prizes for medals of the European Championships, about 160,000 roubles per gold medal.

President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov said in an interview that the purpose of Igor Shuvalov's current visit to Kazan was a final check on the Universiade venues' readiness. "We still have to work on the transport infrastructure and landscaping," noted the President of Tatarstan.

"We have reported on the work that is being done ahead of the Games to Chairman of the Universiade Organising Committee Igor Shuvalov, and we received a number of serious remarks, but we can put them right," assured Rustam Minnikhanov. "We would like Kazan to stun its guests not just with its beauty but also with its sports power, and we would like the Universiade to be held in a positive emotional atmosphere. We will ensure that the guests and spectators have lots of memorable impressions."


(Source: Kazan 2013 Media Dept.)