Winter Universiade


Official USA website:

The Winter Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city. It is only second to the Olympic Games. The program of the Winter Universiade currently includes 6 compulsory sports (8 compulsory disciplines) and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country. It gathered a record of 2,668 participants in Trentino, Italy, in 2013 and a record number of 52 countries in Erzurum, Turkey, in 2011.

Embracing FISU’s motto of ‘Excellence in Mind and Body’, the Winter Universiade incorporates educational and cultural aspects into 11 days of sports competitions, allowing university student-athletes worldwide to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.

Key Facts about the Winter Universiade (WU)

  • The biggest global winter multi-sports event for student-athletes
  • 11 days of sports competitions
  • More than 2,500 participants from more than 50 countries
  • 1,500 to 3,000 volunteers
  • 6 compulsory sports (8 compulsory disciplines) and up to 3 optional sports
  • Broadcasted by more than 100 TV channels around the World

Winter Universiade Organization

Within the FISU chart, the Winter Universiade Department is in charge of all administrative and logistical issues. It also serves as the link between the different Organising Committees, delegations and international sports federations.

In addition to this team, various FISU committees play very important roles in their respective areas in the management of the Winter Universiade, e.g. the Winter Universiade Supervision Committee (CSU), the International Technical Committee (CTI), the International Medical Committee (CMI), the International Control Committee (CIC), the Media and Communication Committee (MCC), etc.

Winter Universiade Sports program*

The program of the Winter Universiade currently includes 6 compulsory sports (8 compulsory disciplines) and up to 3 optional sports:

*Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping will become optional in 2015

2015 Winter Universiade

27th Winter Universiade, Granada, Spain

  • Dates: February 4th to 14th, 2015
  • Website:

27th Winter Universiade in Nordic Skiing and Biathlon, Strbske Pleso/Osrblie, Slovakia

  • Dates: January 24th to February 1st, 2015
  • Website: under construction

Granada, a Universal and University City

Granada is a city that is renowned for its history and its rich cultural and social life. It is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, a melting pot of cultures, a land with ancient history, with a major artistic heritage that includes prehistory, as well as the Roman, Muslim and Christian periods. Its metropolitan area has a population of 536,026 inhabitants and the provinces, the main cities of which are just a two-hour drive away from Granada, have a total of 6,500,000 inhabitants. This ensures a large number of spectators. One of the most important in Spain, the University of Granada is nearly 500 years old. It is recognized internationally in all spheres of university life (teaching, research, culture and services) and it is the favorite European destination for student exchange programs.

Granada and Sport

Granada is a sports city. It has recently hosted the European Basketball Championship and held the World Karate Championship in 1992. Year after year it is becoming the setting of important sporting events. Its history in terms of event organization includes a number of World Trial Championships, the European Futsal Championship, the European Gymnastics Championship, the Enduro Six Day Competition and many more. Granada’s link with skiing competitions is now a tradition. In 1996 the ski resort of Sierra Nevada organized the World Alpine skiing Championships, and it also hosted European and World Cup trials for alpine skiing, snowboarding and freestyle.

The Promotion of Sport and the Legacy of the 2015 Winter Universiade

The 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada rests on a high level of infrastructure and experience in investment planning, which will enable to improve services, the economy and employment. It will also allow to elevate the sporting level of winter sports in Spain, Granada and its university, based on a model of productivity and economic sustainability.  Therefore, the 2015 Winter Universiade is a productive investment project, the legacy of which can be broken down into:

The City of Granada: implementation of ice facility in Sport Palace and recently built Mulhacen stadium with two standard rinks.

The University of Granada: remodeling of the sports facilities on the university campus and creation of a new sports arena to be used temporarily for ice sports.

The Sierra Nevada Ski Resort: remodeling and adaption of the alpine-skiing competition stadium with a new track for the speed event.

The City of Antequera: implementation of ice facility in Athletic Performance Centre for figure skating and short track.

2017 Winter Universiade

28th Winter Universiade, Almaty, Kazakhstan

  • Dates: 29 January to 8 February, 2017.
  • Website:
City of Youth and Sport

One of the oldest cities in the country, Almaty is a city of young people. A third of its population is 30 years old or younger. Almaty has more universities than any other cities in Kazakhstan. It is also a city of sport with modern competition and training facilities. Almaty hosts the highest number of various sporting events and campaigns to promote a healthy lifestyle – over 250 events annually. The landscape of Almaty allows each of its inhabitants to have an active and interesting lifestyle and go in for their favorite sports. The most popular sports in Almaty are skiing and snowboarding.

Cultural Heritage of Almaty

In Kazakh the word ‘alma’ means apple; and Almaty is literally translated as ‘rich in apples’. The city was named in honor of apples, which have grown there since ancient times. This is why the emblem of Almaty, and of the whole Seven Rivers region, bears the image of this fruit. Almaty has an ancient and rich history. As a transit point on the Silk Road, the city was an international trade hub in Central Asia. Silk traders from China as well as ivory and spice sellers from India would meet there to leave a unique trace on the culture of the city. The city has been home to many prominent figures of science, arts, culture and education, who made important contributions to the cultural development of Kazakhstan. Today Almaty has a well-developed cultural infrastructure and skilled human resources, and it is home to the leading theatre, arts museum and library organizations of Kazakhstan.
Almaty regularly hosts international cultural events such as the international music festival ‘Voice of Asia’, the International Eurasia Film Festival and the International Jazz Festival.


The hosting of the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty will have a positive impact on the city and its inhabitants. It will foster a new wave of future leaders and inspire new achievements aiming at sustainable development through the prism of the Universiade and university sports.
Infrastructure: construction of new roads and improvement of the transportation system, construction of new sports facilities and of a university campus that will utilize advanced power-saving and environmentally-friendly technology
Education: training program for sports reporters, sports doctors, sports event managers and sports tourism managers
Health care: a positive effect on the health of Almaty inhabitants, increasing their life expectancy and level of comfort
Tourism: an intensive development of tourist infrastructures (increase in the number of hotels and ski resorts) is planned during the preparation process of the Universiade.

2019 Winter Universiade

29th Winter Universiade in 2019, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

  • Dates: March 2-12, 2019
  • Website:
‘Real Winter’
Krasnoyarsk, a City with a ‘Real’ Winter!

Located in the North East of the Russian Federation, the city of Krasnoyarsk has a continental climate with hot summers and (very) cold winters. This is great since the Krasnoyarsk Organizing Committee promises to offer us the experience of a ‘Real Winter’ in 2019, according to its slogan. In this region the white gold is abundant and provides perfect practice for all winter sports.

A young city – up to 41 % of its population is younger than thirty – Krasnoyarsk has over 40 youth organizations that are very active and interconnected. It is also a university city with 9 institutes of higher education, the oldest being the State University of Siberia for Technology which was founded in 1930. It counts more than 100,000 students and interns from 39 countries. Krasnoyarsk is a sports town as well since 20% of its population is involved in sports in one way or another. Due to its four sports academies, it is also a cradle of great champions who compete in major national and international events.

Krasnoyarsk is not inexperienced in staging winter sports competitions. Although it has not yet organized any international major multi-sport events, it is a regular host for national competitions in alpine skiing, biathlon, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

Krasnoyarsk and its region offer in any case a well-stocked infrastructure dedicated to winter sports. Some venues will be renovated and others replaced for the occasion. In addition, all new sports complexes will be built for the Universiade and among them, several ice rinks and a major center for snow sports.

Finally, athletes will be housed in a new Athletes’ Village, which is seldom the case for the Winter Universiade.

The Organizing Committee shall have all the support of the Russian Student Sports Union (RSSU).