The 2011 Winter Universiade torch has arrived in the eastern Turkish province of Erzurum, the venue of the games.
The torch was ignited in Istanbul on December 8. It toured 19 provinces of the country before arriving in Erzurum which will host the 2011 Winter Universiade, 25th edition of the international multi-sport event organized for university athletes from January 27 to February 6.
Athletes carrying the torch were greeted by Turkish State Minister Faruk Nafiz Ozak at a ceremony in Erzurum.
Ozak said at the ceremony that they were proud of hosting the games.
"An American newspaper ranked Erzurum 18th in a list of 40 most important sports centers in the world. We will host about 3 thousand athletes from 59 countries," he said.
Meanwhile, installing cutting edge technological equipment for IT services for the Universiade, Turkey, has costed the country some 54 million Turkish liras (around $36 million), chief of the event's organizer committee has said.
"The current state of the technological infrastructure can even handle the Olympic Games. A total of 54 million Turkish liras was spent for information network, communication and broadcast infrastructure only," Bekir Korkmaz told the Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
The event's IT infrastructure is powered by Innova, an affiliate company of Turk Telekom, Turkey's largest telecommunications provider.
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 (International University Sports Federation) 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).
Tickets for 2011 Winter Universiade are available online on "www.erzurum2011.gov.tr/english".