Dear citizens of Tatarstan!
The 27th World Summer Universiade 2013 is opening in Kazan today. More than 13,5 thousand participants, 9,3 thousand sportsmen from 162 countries will compete in 27 sports for 351 set of medals. There has never been bigger Student Games held anywhere else. It is symbolic that belt wresting, a traditional Tatar competition, was included in the programme for the first time.
These days we are expecting outstanding victories of Russian athlets, high sport achievements and excitement of sport competition from all participants.
Hosting Summer Universiade in Kazan became possible due to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Government, and International University Sports Federation.
The long-awaited event is the result of common efforts of citizens of the republic, who took part in construction of Universiade facilities, and are involved in organisation and holding of competitions.
The International Student Games is the biggest sport event in the history of today’s Russia and Tatarstan. Due to Universiade, our republic received a developed sports infrastructure, new international stadium, the reconstructed airport, and a new railway station. Kazan has become more comfortable city. Residents and guests of the capital use new underground stations, road junctions, high-speed aeroexpress services. Russia’s best student campus was built at Universiade Village. Universiade heritage will serve interests of all Tatarstan citizens, promote mass sport and physical culture. New talented sportsmen will train at new sports venues.
Due to Universiade, Kazan has become the centre for training Russian sport teams in many sports, the place for holding major international competitions, and the sports capital of Russia.
Our republic and Kazan have greatly changed during five years of hard work. We all have changed. Tatarstan has become known all over the world. The organisational experience we gained and contacts established at all levels are already in great demand and enable implementation of new ambitious projects.
During preparation for Universiade much emphasis was put on preservation of historical and cultural monuments. Major reconstruction work realized in Kazan historical centre, Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda, helped to preserve precious monuments of urban architecture. Rich historical heritage, interethnic and interconfessional peace and concord is our competitive advantage and make the capital and other Tatarstan cities attractive for tourists and pilgrims.
We have prepared a very interesting cultural programme. Major events with participation of Russian and world famous celebrities will be held during Universiade. Kazan guests and citizens will see best performances of the Mariinsky Theatre and Kazan theatres, festivals “Shalyapin. Nuriev. Kazan” and “White lilac”, visit All-Russia and regional exhibitions and a special Cirque du Soleil programme.
The main Sabantui will be an outstanding event held in Tatarstan capital. It is a unique opportunity to demonstrate sports spirit of Tatar people, richness and identity of our culture.
We would like Kazan guests to have the brightest impressions of hospitality of Tatarstan people!
I am sure that Universiade will be an unforgettable holiday of sport and youth, and bright sides of our multi-ethnic art and culture will stay in hearts of our guests for a long time!
Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov