Universiade-2013 – Dress rehearsal for 2014 Olympic Games
Voice of Russia, 06 July 2012
Over 13,000 athletes will take part in the largest ever World Student Gemes that will kick off in Kazan exactly in a year’s time, on the 6th of July 2013. Athletes will compete for a record 351 sets of medals in 27 events.
The capital of Tatarastan is also setting records in speedy construction of more then 30 sports facilities most of which have already been completed. This record outstripped even the efforts made in the run-up to the previous Universiade which was held in 2011 in the Chinese city of Shenzhen in which 8,000 athletes took part. Moreover, Kazan’s international airport is being renovated. When Kazan’s high speed railway is completed, it will only take 30 minutes to reach the capital from the airport. The two largest facilities, a football stadium and a centre for aquatic sports, will be completed by the end of the year. The football stadium is expected to host the 2018 World Cup, while the Aquatic Centre will host the 2015 world swimming championship, says the Voice of Russia correspondent in Kazan Yulduz Krepostina.
At present, the construction of the football stadium, where opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will be held, is in full swing. According to the design of the stadium’s architects, the 45,000 seat facility will resemble a water lily. A parking zone with space for 10,000 vehicles will be built next to the stadium. The construction of the Aquatic Sports Centre on the banks of the River Kazanka is expected to be completed in November. This will be one of Russia’s largest indoor stadiums,” Yulduz Krepostina said.
The costs of the preparations for the Games and the construction of the necessary infrastructure are estimated at almost 5 billion U.S. dollars. The tickets are expected to be not expensive, they will cost between 5 and 50 U.S. dollars. A VIP ticket for the opening or the closing ceremony is expected to cost about 100 U.S. dollars. Proceeds from the sale of souvenirs with the symbols of the Universide-2013, including its mascot, winged snow leopard Yuni, will cover only a small part of the city’s expenses. However, these expensive sports facilities will continue to bring revenues even after the Universide-2013. This is a long-term investment in the development, says first vice-president of the International Federation of Student Sports, Oleg Matytsin.
“Many sports facilities will be lent to universities, and a material and technical base will be created to attract young people to sports. It’s not as simple to derive economic benefit from sports infrastructure, of course. It will take time to develop a healthy life style culture. It would be a mistake to expect that tens of thousands of people will at once start using a newly built sport facility. But I believe that these facilities and the sports infrastructure will be used effectively and produce not only economic benefits but also, and most importantly, social benefits,” Oleg Matytsin said.
The sports facilities are already being used very effectively. At the end of August, the World Canoe Championship will be held in Kazan. A month later, Kazan will host the World University Sport Shooting Championship. Experts describe the Universiade-2012 as a dress rehearsal for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
On the 12th of July, the official torch of the Universide-2013 will be ignited in a ceremony in Paris. Then it will take part in an unprecedented relay in the history of the Games. It will travel around-the-world journey on board the sailing ship Sedov and visit several dozens of Russian cities. The torch will be brought to Kazan on the 6 of July 2013.