The 25th Winter Universiade Games ended with a ceremony held in Turkey's eastern Erzurum province on Sunday.
Turkish ministers, deputies, administrative officials, people from art and sports world, as well as numerous citizens attended the closing ceremony at Erzurum's Cemal Gursel Stadium.
Speaking at the ceremony, Turkish State Minister Faruk Nafiz Ozak said Turkey was happy and proud for having completed the Winter Universiade 2011, adding that the tournament was a new page in Turkey's successes in sports.
"Thanks to the Universiade, Erzurum has now become one of the most important winter sports centers in the world. The Winter Universiade 2011 will be carved in the history of Turkish sports with golden letters," the minister said.
During their speeches, Erzurum Governor Sebahattin Ozturk said that games had been completed without any problems, as Erzurum Mayor Ahmet Kucukler noted his city was ready to host bigger sports events thanks to the confidence and potential it had gained with the Universiade.
Kemal Tamer, the president of Turkish University Sports Federation, said in his part that the Universiade games would carry the Turkish winter sports and winter tourism, which had been neglected previously, to a whole new level.
George Killian, the head of International University Sports Federation (FISU), also noted that the tournament would hand down Turkey a great legacy.
Killian said 52 countries had attended the games in Erzurum, adding such figure was a record in the history of the sports events.
After the speeches, the games were officially closed and the FISU flag was handed over to Slovenia which will host the upcoming Universiade.
The closing ceremony, broadcast live by Turkey's state-run TV channel TRT, has been watched by the audience in nearly 80 countries.
Universiade, as the olympic meeting of university students, is one of the most important sport events in the world. It is the main point in FISU's calendar.
The games, which are staged every two years in a different city, are held in two parts as Summer and Winter Games. The summer games first took place in Turin in 1959, and winter games in 1960, in the city of Chamonix, France. The leader in hosting the games is Italy (5 times).
Turkey hosted the 25th Winter Universiade Games between January 27 & February 6.
Throughout the tournament, athletes from all over the world competed in a total of 11 branches; Alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, ski jumping, cross country, Nordic combined, snowboard, freestyle skiing, figure skating and short track.
Facilities built for Universiade 2011 constitute the biggest sports investment Turkey has made for a single sports event up until today. Venues include 5 ice sports centers, 3 ski resorts and a ski jumping facility, a stadium and an Athletes' Village. Construction of the venues cost nearly 600 million Turkish liras.
AALast Mod: 07 Şubat 2011, 10:49