Goodbye, Almaty! Hello, Krasnoyarsk!

The 28th World Winter Universiade has been declared officially closed.

On February 8, the Closing Ceremony of the 2017 Universiade took place in Almaty. Traditionally, it included a colorful show and summary of all the competitions. A famous singer Ardak Balazhanova accompanied by the Ulytau band and the violin player Dzhamilya Serkebayeva, opened the Ceremony. They were supported by more than 150 drummers, whose performance amazed the audience.

A parade of the participating teams took place afterwards. Contrary to the Opening Ceremony, this time all the athletes entered the stage together. The representatives of different countries walked along the stands demonstrating that the spirit of friendship is the most important part of any competition. 

The official part of the Ceremony began with signing the national anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Asset Balgazin, the winner of international contests, sang the anthem accompanied by the chorus of the Abay State Opera and Ballet Theatre. After that, the official personalities of the Ceremony entered the stage: FISU President Oleg Matytsin and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev. 

“Dear friends, athletes, and guests of the Universiade! The last few days have become a triumph of youth, the will to victory and major sport achievements. The commendable performance of the athletes is a result of their zealous work and a concerted effort of coaches and teams. This year’s Games will remain in history for several reasons. First of all, the 28th World Winter Universiade has gone down on a high level, despite the austere budget. Secondly, more than one billion television spectators and sport fans watched the Almaty Games. They will all remember the Universiade as a large-scale event that has gathered athletes from 57 countries. Thirdly, the Almaty Universiade is leaving a grand legacy. We have witnessed the building of modern and hi-tech venues in a short period of time. Almaty Arena and Halyk Arena stadiums, cultural and healthcare facilities, residential buildings and the Publiс Service Center will all serve for the benefit of the residents of Almaty and the citizens of our country,” said Bakytzhan Sagintayev.  

The President of the International University Sports Federation Oleg Matytsin thanked Almaty for worthily hosting the Winter Universiade. He also wished future success to the city.  

A special block of the Closing Ceremony was dedicated to the efforts of the Universiade’s volunteers. More than 3,000 volunteers from Kazakhstan, Russia, China, South Korea, USA, Canada, Ukraine and many other countries took part in the Almaty World Winter Universiade. A song titled “Spread Your Wings” devoted to volunteers was rendered. In the course of the performance, about 100 volunteers executed a group dance. A selection of photos from the social networks was demonstrated on the screens. 

After this, the official ceremony of handing over the FISU flag to Krasnoyarsk, the hosting city of the next Universiade, took place. The Mayor of Almaty Bauyrzhan Baibek passed the flag to FISU President Oleg Matytsin who, in turn, gave it over to Edkham Akbulatov, the Mayor of Kranoyarsk. 

“I sincerely expect Krasnoyarsk to worthily act as the Universiade host city. We will make every possible effort for this to happen. I extend my gratitude to FISU whose work makes young athletes’ dreams happen. The efforts of FISU nurture new champions and help the youth of the world to be closer to each other! I thank Almaty for a distinct atmosphere of eastern hospitality, colorful victories and sincere emotions!” said Edkham Akbulatov.  

After the FISU flag had been handed over, a theatrical presentation of Krasnoyarsk took place. The spectators were told about the modern life in the Siberian metropolis and presented the concept of the next Winter Universiade. Shamanic patterns that are rooted in the Siberian taiga were accompanied by a brilliant show of dancers and figure skaters. The appearance of Alexei Yagudin, who finished the presentation of Krasnoyarsk along with other members of the performance, was greeted with a storm of applause. 

The World Winter Universiade in Almaty was officially declared closed when the Universiade flame was extinguished. Kazakhstan’s pop stars closed the ceremony. Among them, were such popular artists as Ali Okapov, Ademi, Jah Khalib and others. Together with the singers, athletes from different countries, who demonstrated their dancing talents, entered the stage. They were assisted by 150 professional dancers.  

The Almaty Universiade ended on a high note, in an atmosphere of friendship and harmony between athletes from all over the world. The 2017 Universiade has now become history. Almaty hosted the competitions on the highest level and is proudly handing the right of hosting the next Universiade over to Krasnoyarsk.