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22 May 2019 | in Winter FISU World University Games

Hosts Lucerne and Krasnoyarsk extend cooperation with Winter Universiade debrief meetings

The Krasnoyarsk 2019 debrief began Wednesday with FISU joining the previous event hosts in Lucerne to discuss the opportunities and challenges host cities face in the principal areas of organising a Winter Universiade

  Lucerne 2021's rousing cultural performance during the closing ceremony of the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade helped punctuate the end to a capstone event

LUCERNE — When the Swiss organisers took possession of the FISU Winter Universiade flag during the   29th Winter Universiade’s closing ceremony’s concluding act one might have thought that organisers from the city in the Alps were bidding adieu to their Siberian host city predecessors. In practice, the Krasnoyarsk-Lucerne partnership has continued on, unabated. 


This week FISU and eight functional area experts from Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade joined the Lucerne 2021 organising team for a series of debriefing sessions at the University of Lucerne, situated along the bank of the city’s namesake lake. To those in attendance, the eagerness for sharing knowledge was palatable.  


"With an event like this, you do it once in a lifetime, so there is only one chance to succeed,” Lucerne 2021 Managing Director, Urs Hunkeler, said during the debrief. “This is an extra good opportunity for our team to catch this knowledge."


"We get the feeling after Krasnoyarsk that the attention now turns to Lucerne. We are the next ones,” added Mr. Hunkeler. "Hosting the Winter Universiade is similar to competing in a major sport event — we have to get fit before we do it. We look to be in peak condition when we welcome the world to Central Switzerland in January 2021."

 FISU, Krasnoyarsk 2019 and Lucerne 2021 team members in attendance for the Winter Universiade Debrief meetings beganby visiting key landmarks for the upcoming event, including the Figure Skating and Short Track Speed Skating venue in downtown Lucerne

The Krasnoyarsk 2019 debrief is the event's second edition for Winter Universiade hosting cities and is run under the direction of the FISU Education Department. The debrief sessions brought the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Organising Committee to Lucerne to share their experiences with their respective counterparts from the 2021 local organising committee.


From refurbishing sports infrastructure to competition knowhow to effectively attracting audiences and sponsors, the formal debrief meetings gave organisers the opportunity to exchange ideas with one another — after having time to digest results of this event's edition.

 The morning venue visits to places like this Curling hall highlighted a key part of the Central Switzerland's hosting of the Winter Universiade 2019: all facilities and venues are already in use, meaning no capital event expenditures

FISU Winter Universiade Technical Committee Chair, Roger Roth, joined the debriefing sessions. “A key role FISU plays is providing our event organising committees and their partners with access to the latest knowledge and experiences from major multi-sports events,” Mr. Roth said in his opening remarks. 


"It’s time to put the experiences gained from hosting this Winter Universiade to work,” Mr. Roth added. "It’s time to put the main revelations gained in Krasnoyarsk on the table — what worked really well and what to avoid for next time  — and discuss these points in depth.”


The 29th Winter Universiade set many new event standards for future hosts to learn from. Notable outcomes included attracting the most-ever participating nations (58 countries), event spectators (328,000) and ticket sales (252,000). 


Winter Universiade 2019 also set an unofficial record in branded airplanes with three Boeing 737-800s emblazoned with the U-Laika husky dog mascot still servicing domestic and international markets.


The Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade captured a robust international audience as over 300 million television viewers watched and 70 million more live streamed the 11-day event. 


This university sport event proved its social media savviness as well, with FISU and the organising committee reached an additional 100 million people across their various digital channels. Attendees noted how having elite student-athletes competing at a well-run event directly contributed to these figures. 

FISU Winter Universiade Director, Milan Augustin, presents during day one of the debrief session in Lucerne


Both Krasnoyarsk and Lucerne organisers also emphasised how the value of the entire event transfer of knowledge package — which runs from the observer and second programmes during Universiade-time to event guideline document and multimedia materials — play a leading role in delivering a successful event. 


"The FISU Debrief sessions enable our future organising committees to draw from the latest experience and lessons from the people who have just done the jobs,” remarked FISU Winter Universiade Director, Milan Augustin. "This immediate knowledge transfer is consistently praised by the cities as being very beneficial to their planning. From FISU interns to our leadership team, we are absolutely committed to helping our hosts put on truly world-class sports events for university student-athletes.”

Just before the curtain came down to the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade, the traditional host city flag transfer took place. BFISU President Oleg Matytsin takes a wave of the flag before passing it on from Krasnoyarsk to Lucerne