Official Opening Ceremony of 29th Winter Universiade 2019 Held in Krasnoyarsk
Tonight at 20:19 the first Russian Winter Universiade ever was officially opened. President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the International University Sports Federation Oleg Matytsin.
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin declared the 29th Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk 2019 open:
«Good evening, friends. Welcome to Russia.
Today, the international festival of university sport, a festival of youth and friendship, determined and honest competing has come to Krasnoyarsk, to the banks of our great Siberian river Yenisei.
Thousands of athletes from dozens of countries will showcase their prowess, power, speed, stamina and, of course, their will to win, strong character and respect for their opponents. I am confident that each of you will remember these days for the rest of your lives, that they will give you only the most joyful impressions and will become a bright page in the history of international sport.
This is what the Summer Universiade in Kazan, the Sochi Olympics and the FIFA World Cup turned out to be, all the major athletic forums hosted by Russia at the highest possible level.
We always welcome our guests open-heartedly with traditional Russian hospitality. And we are sincerely grateful to you – athletes, coaches and federations – for your shared commitment to the ideals of sport, for your readiness to follow its best traditions.
I congratulate everyone on the start of the competitions and wish you success, convincing, remarkable and spectacular victories.
I declare the XXIX Winter Universiade open».
Oleg Matytsin, FISU President called the Games in Krasnoyarsk one of the global sports events. «On behalf of the International University Sports Federation, it is my great honour to welcome you to the grand opening of the 29th Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk 2019. It is the biggest sports event this year which turns a new leaf in the chronicles of the international university sports movement. For the first time in our 70-year history the Winter Universiade comes to Russia and is placed on a par with the global sports events successfully organised in the country. Once again Russia lived up to the reputation of a reliable partner whose priorities in government are sport, education, and health of the future generations».
Ilya Averbukh, Director of the Winter Universiade 2019 Opening Ceremony got more than 1,000 artists together on one stage and showed the authentic culture and everyday life of the peoples that live along the Yenisei River. One after another, the scenes narrated about the heritage of Siberia and the achievements of those who live here. Shamans were dancing to ethnic music, fishermen were catching northern fish, gigantic tea cups symbolized the Russian hospitality.
Special accent in the scenario of the Opening Ceremony was made on a projection show that demonstrated paintings of Vasily Surikov, a great Russian painter who was born in Krasnoyarsk. One of the scenes was devoted to the Capture of a Snow Town painting and start a folk festival. The Valenki song performed by Nyusha became a symbol of the upcoming Maslenitsa festival.
Flying on a golden moon under the ceiling of Platinum Arena, Zara sang a lullaby and handed a paper boat to the main characters as if encouraging them to explore Siberia.
The accent was also made on the diverse Siberian culture. Viktor Astafyev, a writer, Andrey Pozdeyev, a painter, Dmitry Khvorostovsky, an opera singer, these famous Krasnoyarsk dwellers known all over the world left the rich legacy and contributed to the city status as one of the Russian culture capitals. The performance of an Olympic champion in figure skating Alexei Yagudin was a final accord in the show.
After the show, Universiade Ambassadors, a two-time Olympic champion Svetlana Khorkina and a 10-time world champion Sergei Lomanov (junior) lit the City Cauldron of the Universiade. According to the Director's idea, a burning Bandy ball hit into the Yenisei, and the river transmitted its energy to the Cauldron.
The March Pass was a separate part of the Opening Ceremony. The athletes from 58 countries will participate in the Universiade, it's a record number of teams in the history of the Winter Universiades. The delegations passed along the Winter Universiade 2019 venue, Platinum Arena Krasnoyarsk that was specially constructed for the competitions.
Among the participating countries are the ones where winter sports are well-developed traditionally, such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, as well as the ones, where winter sports are not widespread, like Afganistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Libia. The teams with the biggest number of athletes represent Russia (293 athletes), Sweden (99 athletes) and China (79 athletes). The teams from Iceland and Mexico have one athlete each, while Lichtenstein is represented by two athletes.
As a reminder, Krasnoyarsk was granted the right to host the Winter Universiade 2019 on November 9, 2013 in Brussels. The International University Sports Federation (FISU) Committee had a unanimous vote.