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19 February 2021 | in Winter FISU World University Games

Spotlight: Granada 2015 Winter Universiade

The 27th Winter Universiade was one of a kind, with Slovakia and Spain joining forces to put on the largest multi-winter-sport event for university students. The Slovak cities of Strbské Pleso and Osrblie teamed up with the southern Spanish city of Granada.


Granada fell on hard financial times in 2015 and was unable to host the Nordic competitions. Not only did Slovakia already have the facilities, but they also hosted the 1987 and 1999 Winter Universiades—leaving them as the obvious choice for co-hosting the event.


Slovakia was host to the cross-country, ski jumping and Nordic combined events, with biathlon held in the neighbouring city of Osrblie. Granada kept all other events including curling and ice hockey.


An astonishing 1,546 athletes from 42 countries took part in the event, where the first events were held in Slovakia before the competition moved to Granada. Over the 20 days of competition, the Russian Federation won 50% of all the medals, whereas the South Koreans finished in second place with 16 medals—just five more than third placed Kazakhstan.


Dominating the short-track speed skating and taking 13 of the 24 medals up for grabs in the event overall, the South Koreans outperformed all nations in this sport. On the mountains, it was the Norwegians who ruled the women’s alpine skiing events, taking four of the five titles in slalom, giant slalom, super-G and combined. European nations stayed on the board, with the Italians and Swiss splitting gold in the men’s categories.


Back on the ice, Russia won gold and silver in the women’s and men’s curling competitions respectively, along with the ice hockey championship title leaving Kazakhstan with the silver medal in a 3-1 triumph.


All was not lost for the country of Kazakhstan, as they would go on to win the 2017 hosting rights for the 28th Winter Universiade in the country’s largest metropolis: Almaty.