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04 March 2021 | in Winter FISU World University Games

Spotlight: Almaty 2017 Winter Universiade

As Kazakhstan’s largest metropolitan city, Almaty is home to one-third to the country’s universities making it the perfect candidate for the 28th Winter Universiade. The Almaty 2017 Winter Universiade drew a record 57 countries with 2,481 participants, including 1,620 athletes.


President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared the Winter Universiade open at the opening ceremony on 29 January 2017, along with IOC counterpart, President Thomas Bach who was not in attendance but gave his encouragement to all participating at the 28th Winter Universiade through a video message.


“From my own experience of participating in the Universiade, when I was a student just a few short years ago, I know of the excitement that an athlete feels before the competition finally starts,” said Bach, a former German foil fencer himself. “For many of you, this Universiade will be an important milestone in your sporting career. Spread your wings and you will achieve great things.”


By the end of the Games, the host nation would win 11 gold medals for a 36-medal total, ahead of the Republic of Korea and Japan. Kazakhstan placed second on the overall medal table just behind the Russian Federation, who won 29 of the 85 gold medals. Not only did the Russian Federation come out on top in Almaty, but they would also go on to receive the hosting rights for the 29th Winter Universiade in a Siberian city on the Yenisei River, officially deemed as the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade.