BRUSSELS – The Executive Committee of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) allocated the 2017 Winter Universiade to Almaty, Kazakhstan. The next events follow in Maribor, Slovenia in 2013 and in Granada, Spain in 2015.
With initially two strong candidates to host the 28th Winter Universiade – Trentino, Italy and Almaty, Kazakhstan – the race towards the attribution of the World Student Games promised to be a genuine thriller. However, with exactly a week to go until the FISU executive committee members voted in Brussels, Belgium for the host city for the 2017 Winter Universiade, the provincial council of the Autonomous Province of Trento, in accordance with the Trentino 2017 bid committee, had abandoned the winter race, leaving Almaty in Kazakhstan as the sole candidate.
Manuela Di Centa, former Olympic Cross Country Skiing Champion and President of the bidding committee, told FISU that the reason for the withdrawal "has to be found in the dire economic situation Italy finds itself in."
At the final session, the delegates of Almaty, chaired by Almaty Mayor Akhmetzhan Yesimov, presented the trumps for choosing their city as host of the Winter University Games. Former Olympic and World Cross Country Skiing Champion Vladimir Smirnov was present as well to stress the importance of the Winter Universiade for Almaty.
“The 2017 Winter Universiade is an amazing opportunity for Almaty to promote its image as a new winter sports destination and to develop university sports in our city, our country and our region,” Smirnov said. “The bidding process was very exciting, and our team was very enthusiast in working out key reasons to choose Almaty as a new host city for Winter Universiade that are based on FISU philosophy and humanistic values. Unfortunately, our colleagues and competitors from Trentino decided to withdraw its candidature at the almost final stage. Competition with Trentino was very spectacular, intriguing and very useful for us. Nevertheless, we see brilliant prospects for all member countries of FISU to achieve outstanding results in promoting university sports at global stage.”
In the race for the 29th Summer Universiade, Taipei City (Chinese Taipei) was granted the rights for 2017 beating off a rival bid from Brasilia in Brazil.
Maribor in Slovenia and Kazan in Russia will host the Winter and Summer editions of the biennial event in 2013, respectively, while Granada in Spain (Winter) and Gwangju in Korea (Summer) will host the events in 2015.