Красноярская универсиада 2019 года

2-12 MARCH 2019

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Countdown to winter universiade 2019

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Half million people visit Universiade Park

The Cossaks took a snow fortress during the Maslenitsa festival. Alexander Uss, Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Sergei Eremin, Mayor of Krasnoyarsk, visited the Ethnic Village together with the foreign delegation. Jazzmen from Tuva performed on the ice rink. And at night, a 500,000th guest came to the Universiade Park.

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It was a busy day in the Universiade Park. Taking a snow fortress is a traditional major attraction of the Maslenitsa programme preceded by “wall to wall” fist fighting. The Red and Blue teams, named by the colour of boxing gloves and sashes, met in a fight. The main goal for the fighters is to keep the line and win together, not alone. With the support from the stands, the participants were boxing wholeheartedly. After the third fight, the teams hugged and wished each other good luck following the original tradition of the Russian fist fighting.
Then the Yenisei Cossack Host entered the site and stormed the snow town. A hail of snowballs struck the heads of the Cossacks, the defenders of the fortress fought stubbornly, preventing their opponents from climbing the wall, but after the third attack the Cossacks’ flag flew over the snow town. These men's entertainments were accompanied by the Valenki dance show and the performance of the Krassa song ensemble. The show gathered hundreds of spectators.
Alexander Uss, Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, attended the Maslenitsa festival. He visited various locations of the Ethnic Village where the artists welcomed the distinguished guest with songs and told about their work in the Universiade Park. At the Forest Plot entertainment site the head of the region played huge chess with an unusual opponent, a logging machine.   
Sergei Eremin, Mayor of Krasnoyarsk, also visited the Universiade Park accompanied by some important guests, namely, Ricardo d'Elicio, Director General of the Winter Universiade Torino 2007 Executive Directorate, and Beat Züsli, Mayor of the Swiss city of Lucerne that will host the Winter Universiade 2021.
Mr. Züsli admitted that Winter Universiade cultural programme for Switzerland is only in its planning stage, so the experience from Krasnoyarsk will be very useful. “I liked the Universiade Park for its vivid representation of the Siberian peoples’ culture. I heard only positive opinions on the quality of the Games organisation from my friends and athletes, including the Swiss. Of course, we are going to present an interesting cultural programme at the Universiade in Lucerne, but there will probably be no such Park as in Krasnoyarsk because Lucerne is a small city.”
At 5.12 pm in Mira Square, the 500,000th visitor of the Universiade Park was presented with an invitation ticket to the concert of the Games cultural programme headliner. Having heard that there would be a giveaway of tickets for John Newman's concert, Yulia Gutnik from Zheleznogorsk dreamt of winning but received the tickets as a gift. “What an incredible coincidence! I am going to the concert with my sister, we are both music lovers.”
An unusual concert of the jazz band from Tuva at the Tatyshev Island skating rink was also a beautiful present to all the visitors. Musicians in colorful national costumes and masks symbolising the spirits played jazz improvisations while skating on the ice.
“It was unforgettable,” Svetlana Aleksandrova from Novosibirsk shared her impressions. “People would stop on the bridge, and even those who didn't have skates on came out on the ice to watch the incredible show.”
Once it got dark, another unique show began for all the spectators who came to Mira Square. The Remue Menage street theatre from France showed their performance. The giant illuminated bears, acrobats on stilts and dancers presented the Bear’s Mouth programme that combined the traditions of French street theatre and modern technologies. The mesmerized audience followed the giant bears that were making their magnificent march around the square.  
The Games brought about a lot of discoveries, not only in sports, but also in culture equally enjoyed by the hosts of the Winter Universiade 2019 and the guests from Russia and abroad.
“When I come back home, I will tell my friends that Russia is a beautiful country, that all the people are friendly there, while many in our country don't think this way,” said Tomayasu Yeshida from Japan who visited the Universiade Park.
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