Approximately 2,700 student-athletes from 52 countries and regions have convened in Trentino, Italy, for the 2013 Winter Universiade. The event began on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and will end on Saturday, Dec. 21.
The 12-day event is "the largest multi-disciplinary winter sports event ever organized in the Trentino region and the largest winter sports event of 2013 at global level," according to Winter Universiade Trentino 2013 Organizing Committee President Sergio Anesi, via Marzia De Giuli of English.news.cn.
In addition to the obvious interest the action will draw internationally from sports fans around the globe, the organizers hope to inspire advances in "education, culture, health, sustainability and innovation," President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Claude-Louis Gallien stated, per De Giuli's report.
The student-athletes will compete in 12 different sporting events over the course of the 12 days in Trentino.
Here is a look at a list of competing countries and the schedule of events:
|Australia (21)||Germany (26)||New Zealand (7)|
|Austria (32)||Great Britain (55)||Norway (34)|
|Azerbaijan (3)||Hong Kong (1)||Poland (85)|
|Belarus (18)||Hungary (17)||Russia (184)|
|Belgium (9)||India (10)||San Marino (1)|
|Bolivia (2)||Iran (3)||Serbia (9)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina (5)||Italy (101)||Slovakia (47)|
|Brazil (1)||Japan (119)||Slovenia (34)|
|Bulgaria (12)||Kazakhstan (54)||South Africa (1)|
|Canada (106)||South Korea (70)||Spain (31)|
|China (58)||Latvia (28)||Sweden (58)|
|Croatia (10)||Lithuania (6)||Switzerland (57)|
|Czech Republic (71)||Macedonia (2)||Chinese Taipei (6)|
|Estonia (14)||Mexico (2)||Thailand (1)|
|Finland (34)||Monaco (1)||Turkey (27)|
|France (35)||Mongolia (4)||Ukraine (92)|
|Georgia (2)||Netherlands (13)||United States (106)|
|Dec. 10||Ice Hockey|
|Dec. 11||Opening Ceremony, Figure Skating, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 12||Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 13||Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Nordic Combined, Speed Skating|
|Dec. 14||Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Speed Skating, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 15||Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Speed Skating|
|Dec. 16||Biathlon, Curling, Ice Hockey, Nordic Combined, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 17||Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Curling, Ice Hockey, Speed Skating, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 18||Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Curling, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Nordic Combined, Speed Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, Ski Jumping|
|Dec. 19||Cross Country, Curling, Ice Hockey, Speed Skating, Short Track Speed Skating|
|Dec. 20||Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross Country, Curling, Ice Hockey, Short Track Speed Skating, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding|
|Dec. 21||Cross Country, Ice Hockey, Snowboarding, Closing Ceremony|
Any time such a huge event is put together, it creates significant challenges for organizers and the community in which it takes place. Fitting so many people and activities into such a tight schedule is never easy, but the efforts put forth to do so for this year's showing will certainly be worth it.
Obviously, the big events like ice hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding and figure skating will bring in the biggest crowds.
And with views like this one of the gorgeous Passo di San Pellegrino, as shown by Korea Olympic, fans will be treated to more than just exciting action:
However, there is plenty of interest in sports like curling, the biathlon, ski jumping, speed skating and others.
The host Italians should have an edge in the events on the local Dolomites Mountains, but there are world-class student-athletes from all over the world who will give them a run for their money.
The Winter Universiade isn't nearly as popular worldwide as the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, but it's an event that will hopefully leave a lasting and positive mark on the area of Trentino and beyond.
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