The greatest celebration of academic sport on the planet is approaching. The 27th Winter Universiade will take place in Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie from 24 January to 1 February 2015.The Universiade is an international university sports event. The main organiser of the games is the International University Sports Federation - FISU. The name is a combination of the words "University" and "Olympiad".
The host countries in 2015 are Spain - Granada - and Slovakia - Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie. Slovakia will welcome the best university sports in the most attractive disciplines - ski jumping, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing and biathlon.
There are 470 competitors from 32 countries expected to take part in Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie. A total of 800 competitors, coaches, service staff and other officials should take part in the Universiade. Together with a 30-member organising committee, the Universiade will also be organised by 50 members of FISU, 200 referees and technical delegates, 150 volunteers and fifty technicians. There are 150 journalists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia expected to attend.
Cultural events and ceremonies
Several cultural events joined with presenting Slovakia will take place during the Universiade in Štrbské Pleso:
Welcoming teams to Slovakia
After the arrival of individual delegations, they will be welcomed to the Universiade and this event will be joined with the raising of each country's flat in the Štrbské Pleso centre.
The Opening Ceremony will take place on 24 January 2015 at 6.00pm in Štrbské Pleso. It will include a circa 90 minute cultural programme which will culminate in lighting the Universiade Flame.
The Closing Ceremony including handover of the baton to the organising committee of the Winter Universiade in Granada will take place on 1 February 2015 in Štrbské Pleso. It will last approximately 60 minutes.
At the end of each day's disciplines in Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie, medal ceremonies will take place in which medals will be awarded to the winners of individual disciplines. There will be a short cultural programme prior to the ceremony.
Similarly to the Olympic Games, the Universiade includes lighting a flame and a torch relay. It will be the same during the SWU. Torch relay routes and their participants have not yet been selected. It is assumed that each member of the relay will run with the torch for a minimum of 1 kilometre. The relay should pass the largest universities in Slovakia, linking them. Lighting of the Universiade Flame will take place during the Opening Ceremony in Štrbské Pleso.
The Universiade will take place in Slovakia for the third time, for the first time in 1987 and the second time in the region 15 years ago.
Approximately 20 hours of live transmissions via Eurosport will be broadcast from Štrbské Pleso and Orsrblie.
Entry to the Universiade is free; no entrance fee will be collected at any of the sports events.
Additionally, from 17 November, all students will have free rail transport including rack railways and Tatra Trams.