28th Winter Universiade declared open in dazzling show.
The 28th World Winter Universiade was opened by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at an opening ceremony held in Almaty on Sunday night.
Nazarbayev said in his speech that sports can change the city and life of people.
“This is a city of young people. A city of students. One third of all Kazakhstan’s universities are located in Almaty. 137,000 students study here. The legendary and beloved Medeu skating rink will return its past glory,” said Nazarbayev.
“Let this flame of the Universiade be a flame of friendship. In this fair competition, may the best athletes win,” he added.
Oleg Matytsin, President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), attended the ceremony, to which International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sent his best wishes through a video clip.
More than 2,000 athletes from 57 countries and regions will compete in 12 sports, namely, Alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, ski jumping, cross country, Nordic combined, snowboard, freestyle skiing, figure skating, speed skating and short track.
A total of 543 medals will be awarded. About 3,000 volunteers will be involved and 30,000 domestic and foreign visitors are expected. The Universiade will go through to Feb. 8.