Oleg Matytsin: “In Almaty you can already feel the atmosphere of a big sports festival”

The XXVIII Winter Universiade will be held from 29 January to 8 February, in  Almaty. Oleg Matytsin, Presiednt of the International University Sports Federation, has already arrived in Kazakhstan. He answered the questions of the ROC Information Service.

– Although there are still a few days before the start of the competition, you can already feel the atmosphere of a big sports festival in Almaty, – said Head of FISU. – You can see friendly volunteers. First delegations are coming to the Universiade Village, final preparations are underway. The Organizing Committee is doing everything necessary to make sure viewers and athletes feel themselves at home in the largest city of Kazakhstan.

– How many countries have already confirmed their participation in the Universiade?

– As of today, 57 countries and around 1,700 athletes were registered. But these are not final figures.

– In what conditions will the participants live?

– The 2017 Universiade Village is a well-secured  district  with all necessary infrastructure, including shops and fitness center. There’s even a football field on its territory. Delegations will be accommodated in comfortable apartments, which will afterwards be  handed over to low-income families. In each apartment there is a washing machine, thus exceeding standards, set by FISU. This fact proves that the level of comfort  is high. There will also be a medical center in each building. Athletes will be able to undergo recovery procedures under medical control. From a logistical point of view, the Village is well located. All sports venues are located close to it.

– What surprises are awaiting for the fans at the opening ceremony?

–  I will not open all secrets. I can only say that for the first time in the history of Universiades, President of the IOC Thomas Bach will address a video message to participants. The FISU Conference will be held on February 3, 4. Representatives of the IOC, UNESCO, WADA and international sports federations will take part in it. In particular, we are waiting for the International Biathlon Union President, Anders Besseberg. And at the closing ceremony, February 8, the flag will be handed over to the  next host city, Krasnoyarsk. Its delegation of Krasnoyarsk will be headed by the Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Region, Viktor Tolokonskiy.

– Who will provide competition to the Russian team in the fight for the first place in the overall team standings?

– The hosts have  high ambitions. Kazakh skiers, speed skaters and hockey players have traditionally been very strong. Japan and South Korea are also among favorites. Americans usually bring good Curling and Hockey teams. And Polish athletes are traditionally strong in Speed Skating.

It should be reminded that there are 12 sports on the program of the Winter Universiade 2017 – Biathlon, Alpine Skiing, Curling, Speed Skating, Nordic Combined, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Figure Skating, Freestyle, Hockey and Short Track. The Russian delegation will be the the largest in Almaty. It will consist of more than 200 people.