The Universiade, held in Granada, Spain, and Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia, brought together 2,440 athletes from 42 countries. Russia’s team came top in total medal count with 56 medals, including 20 gold, 18 silver and 18 bronze.
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Address at the meeting with winners of the 27th World Winter Universiade
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, athletes.
I don’t even know what to say, because never before has our student team performed as well as you did this time. You exceeded all our previous achievements in overall medal count. Previously our best results were in Harbin, when we won the same number of medals as our Chinese hosts, but this was the best performance by our team in the history of Universiades.
It makes us very happy that you have managed to reassert your standard of excellence in our traditional sports: ski racing, biathlon and ski jumping. There was a time when ski jumping was a sport we traditionally won medals in, then we lost it for a while, and now it is all coming back. However, what is especially impressive is that for the first time you got a medal in alpine skiing. Where is the champion? My congratulations!
After the not so successful performance in Sochi, it was a pleasure that you showed good results in curling. We saw how hard both the men’s and women’s teams fought and obviously, they have great prospects, but those who took part in the Universiade demonstrated that we have a great reserve of human resources.
Our ice hockey players also did a great job – both the young men and women: you beat the Canadian men’s and women’s teams. This is very impressive.
I only regret that they don’t show enough of your victories in the electronic media.
In such situations, people usually say special thanks, as I would also like to do that, to thank your mentors, coaches, experts, doctors and organisers.
Clearly, in the past years we have managed to pool the efforts of all the agencies dealing with youth and student sports, I mean the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Education and Science.
As you may know, we are getting ready to host the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk. I am certain that all our achievements of the previous years, namely the Universiade in Kazan and the Sochi Olympics, and your performance this year will all work for our future success.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and talk about future results, but our fans are sure to expect a great performance at the next Universiade. I have no idea how you can improve on your current results, but I am sure that everyone will do their best and strive for the top.
I would like to congratulate you and thank you for your outstanding results. I wish you further success and new victories. Thank you very much.
There is something I missed: clearly, the leadership of student sports also deserve recognition and praise; here I am referring to the President [of the Russian Student Sports Union] who is very active both here in this country and in international sports. My special thanks to you.