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09 March 2019 | in Winter Universiade

Winter Universiade no less than a festival for Krasnoyarsk

Upon your arrival at the Krasnoyarsk airport, there is one special person greeting you “at the door”. It is none other than U-Laika, the official mascot of the 2019 Winter Universiade. The Siberian dog of laika breed which symbolizes loyalty, friendliness, joy and everlasting energy is welcoming everybody who arrives in the city. 


In fact, the entire city is covered in blue, white and pink colors these days. Colors that represent the greatest sporting event ever held in Krasnoyarsk. Organizers have made sure citizens and visitors alike are reminded about the FISU Games at every corner. Be it on public vehicles, at bus stations, at shopping mall or in any other place in town.


The biggest “Winter Universiade 2019” board is displayed right downtown on the banks of the Yenisei River and catches the eyes of every visitor. The organizing committee had spent more than a year preparing to decorate the city.

Winter sports being one of the most popular activities in Russia, Krasnoyarsk has taken full advantage in order to promote both the city and sports.


"It feels like a festival here, looking at the banners and posters everywhere in the city," says Yuri Mikhailov, who came to watch figure skating on Saturday.


U-Laika is present at every venue, and taking photos with the popular mascot has become one of the best attractions of the Universiade.


Alexai Vesiliev, who came to figure skating with his two young sons, said: "My sons were very happy to see U-Laika and have their photo taken. Also, the city is filled with banners. That will make people more interested in coming and watching games."


Over 3,000 athletes from 58 countries are currently in Krasnoyarsk and the city has been able to welcome all of them with a warm heart.


Even though the Russian Federation had already hosted major international sporting events such as the 1973 and 2013 Summer Universiades, 1980 Summer Olympics, 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 FIFA World Cup, organizing an event of this scale is a first for Krasnoyarsk and it also marks the first staging of the Winter FISU Games in Russia.


A wonderful festival indeed.

By FISU International Young Reporter Sonita Aryal at the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade