The Universiade is the second largest sporting event in the world after the Summer Olympics in terms of number of athletes and countries. More than 10,000 competitors from over 160 nations are expected in Kazan.
A total of 442 individuals will wear the Maple Leaf at the FISU World University Games, including 309 student-athletes, both record numbers for Canada. Not included in the official tally are 14 Canadian referees and judges who will also be part of the event.
The sport of track and field is sending the most athletes to Russia with 51, followed by swimming (38), women’s football (20), men’s football (19) and fencing (16). Rugby sevens and synchronised swimming both make their Universiade debut in 2013.
No less than 18 Canadian Olympians will compete in Kazan, including eight in swimming, five in track and field, two in weightlifting, and one each in badminton, artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics.
While the official dates of the Games are July 6 to 17, Canadians will be in action on Friday (July 5) in women’s and men’s football, men’s water polo, badminton and synchronised swimming.
The country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies will be announced Friday evening at the official Team Canada reception hosted by Canada’s Ambassador to Russia, John Sloan. The ceremonies are set for Saturday night at Kazan Arena, the largest stadium in the Volga region with a seating capacity of close to 50,000.
“We are very excited to be in Kazan for what promises to be an exceptional event,” said chef de mission Theresa Hanson from the University of British Columbia. “The organising committee has done a remarkable job and there is no doubt our Canadian student-athletes will live a memorable experience over the next two weeks.”
A Canadian delegation of 246 athletes won eight medals at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, including five silver and three bronze.
- Sports & Recreation