Winter Universiade 2019 marks one year with FIS Freestyle World Cup
It’s fitting that one year to the day when the heart of Siberia welcomed the world to the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade, the world’s best mogul skiers come to town for the latest stage of the FIS Freestyle World Cup.
While the 29th Winter Universiade opened in the Platinum Ice Area one year ago, a chartered flight – aboard a Boeing 737 emblazoned with the loveable U-Laika Winter Universiade event mascot – brought the world’s best men’s and women’s freestyle skiers from Almaty to Krasnoyarsk.
More than 140 athletes and support staff arrived today, and competitors will have several days to train at the highly acclaimed Sopka Cluster. The venue looms resplendent above the Krasnoyarsk city centre, especially when lit up with floodlights at night for evening ski sessions. The FIS World Cup competitions will take place this Saturday and Sunday, the 7-8 March.
Showcasing the warm spirit of the local residents that resonated long past last year’s 11-day university sports event, the Krasnoyarsk wind band welcomed the skiers in the airport. For reigning Olympic and world champion Michael Kingsbury of Canada, the inaugural FIS World Cup stop in Krasnoyarsk marks his first Siberian experience but is one he has looked forward to since watching last year’s Winter Universiade competitions.
“I have great expectations of your city: I watched a video on YouTube, watched the Winter Universiade 2019 taking place in Krasnoyarsk, and I have great anticipation,” said Kingsbury. “Thank you for the very warm welcome, we are not always welcomed like this! I am very pleased to return to Russia. I think it will be a great week.”
Joining Kingsbury as names to watch for the weekend is Ikuma Horishima, the 2017 world champion in dual moguls. While Kingsbury has looked nearly unstoppable on the World Cup circuit of late, Japan’s Horishima has a special connection to Krasnoyarsk as it is where he won gold during Winter Universiade 2019.
“After winning the Winter Universiade, everyone was happy for me – my parents and friends. Now I also came back to Krasnoyarsk for the first place!” he exclaimed.
Top technical delegates like FIS Freestyle World Cup coordinator Joe Fitzgerald also arrived in Krasnoyarsk today via the U-Laika express.
"I was in Krasnoyarsk twice during the inspection visits. Last year, the city hosted the Winter Universiade quite
successfully,” Fitzgerald said. “And now all these modern sports facilities are available for international competitions. We are pleased to hold the competitions at the Sopka Cluster and enjoy your warm welcome.”
“Exactly a year ago, one of the most significant events in Krasnoyarsk’s history – the 29th Winter Universiade 2019 – kicked off,” said Maxim Urazov, former Winter Universiade 2019 Director-General and now Russian Students Sport Union President.
“During the preparation for the World University Games, our city changed. We now have modern sports facilities, thanks to which Krasnoyarsk is capable of hosting major events. The venues of the Winter Universiade 2019 have already hosted the Russian Figure Skating Championship, the World Junior Curling Championships, and other competitions. And in a few days, the stages of the FIS Freestyle World Cup will begin. I am glad that Krasnoyarsk continues to develop and has become a centre of spectacular sports events."
To follow along with the event happening in Krasnoyarsk, visit the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Stages’ official website: freestyle.prosibir.com.