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26 February 2019 | in Winter FISU World University Games

Home away from home: Teams checking into U-Village


KRASNOYARSK — Sitting just below both the snowboard and freestyle ski competition venues and the cerulean blue Siberian spring sky, the first student-athletes of the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade began checking into their accommodations and filling their plates at the dining hall at the Universiade Village.


The first athlete to check into the village was Madiyar Ibraibekov, an Ice Hockey player from Kazakhstan. The village venue and event's setting in the centre of Russia made an immediate impression on the 23-year old defensemen, a similar sentiment heard amongst other  delegation members who have started to call the U-Village home. This includes delegations from Canada, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States of America. 


At each edition of the Winter Universaide, organisers put together an inclusive place for all teams to reside — in a location that affords athletes easy access to the competition and training venues. Certain to be a lasting legacy of the 29th Winter Universiade, the Siberian University Federal University underwent a revitalisation that provides the 2,729 accredited athletes, coaches and support staff from 58 competing nations with the place they’ll call home from now until after the event's conclusion, which runs from 2-12 March. Teams will be in for a quick trip from village to venue, as every one of the 11 competition venues are located within kilometres of their home base, inside the Krasnoayrsk city limits. 

 Welcome to Krasnoyarsk, welcome to #realwinter is the motto and the hashtag of the 29th Winter Universiade, the first time the event will be held in the Russian Federation.

With a small skirting of snow,  athletes’ village mayor Maksim Oreshnikov spoke about what it meant for him and his young, eager and professional team to provide the conditions for the athletes here to compete at their peak performance levels. Noting the unique quality of bringing a global collection of university student athletes together, the village mayor added. “We open our doors of comfort, good, and friendliness."


At the athletes’ village official opening celebration Maxim Urazov, Universiade Director General of the Universiade, warmly welcomed the world to their home away from home in his hometown.


“We are happy that our city situated in the center of Siberia, the center of Russia, becomes capital of such a great multi-sport event,” Mr. Urazov said. “I would like to wish that these days of a good mood, friendliness and openness will be for you the most memorable days of the year.”

 The U-Village includes cultural areas like this one - "Lingonberry" - that tell about the region's traditional way of life (KRSK2019 photo)

FISU President Oleg Matytsin emphasised that the Universiade Village is a place of togetherness that brings athletes from competing nations closer together.


“These days will be joyful for us, this I am sure,” the FISU President said. “The village  offers a holiday mood to the students, who will see the happiness of their victories and of those of their friends. They will find friends in this house, and many of these athletes will become Olympic champions. It is symbolic that the Athletes Village is situated on the University campus. It means that University sports unite the young people and make them look to the future with confidence.”