Today, July 12th, the curtain fell on the 25th Summer Universiade hosted in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. For 12 days student-athletes from all over the world competed against each other in 14 different sports and lived together in harmony in a fantastic Athletes’ Village. 8,166 participants from 122 countries took part in this multi-sport event where 4 athletics and no less than 30 swimming Universiade Records were broken. Various Olympic and World Champions competed at these World University Games, as well as numerous Olympians and other elite athletes.

Tonight the Universiade flame in front of the Belgrade Arena was extinguished by a giant robot while inside – in the presence of all Universiade participants Dragan Dilas, the Mayor of Belgrade returned the FISU five-star flag to FISU President George E. Killian who handed it over to Wang Rong the Acting Mayor of Shenzhen, the host city of the 26th Summer Universiade in 2011.

Ján Figel, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth congratulated the student-athletes with their performances and wished them good luck to continue their careers with ‘excellence in mind and body’.

Dragan Dilas, the Mayor of Belgrade thanked the volunteers and also the citizens of Belgrade for their patience.

In his speech President Killian once again thanked all the volunteers of the Universiade for the wonderful job they did, which was followed by a loud cheers from all athletes.

When Mr. Killian officially closed the Universiade a cultural performance followed, brought by the future Chinese hosts. When a choir of Chinese girls started to sing ‘Niska Banja’, a popular Serbian song, the Universiade volunteers started to sing along cheering and applauding. The moment the Chinese performers left the stage, music form popular deejays boomed in the Arena and a giant party for the students took off.

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FISU stands for Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation), founded in 1949. FISU’s main responsibility is the supervision of both Summer and Winter Universiades as well as the World University Championships. The Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city and which is second in importance only to the Olympic Games. The Summer Universiade consists of 12 compulsory sports (Athletics – Basketball – Fencing – Football – Artistic & Rhythmic Gymnastics – Swimming – Diving – Water Polo – Tennis – Table Tennis – Judo – Volleyball) and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country. The record figures are 9,006 participants in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2007 and 174 countries in Daegu, Korea in 2003.

The Winter Universiade consists of 7 compulsory sports (Alpine Skiing – Nordic Skiing composed of Ski Jump, Cross Country & Combined – Biathlon – Ice Hockey – Short-Track Speed Skating – Figure Skating – Curling) and one or two optional sports also chosen by the host country. The Winter Universiade gathered a record 2,511 participants in Torino in 2007 and a record number of 50 countries in Innsbruck, Austria in 2005.

The World University Championships are organized every even year in sports which do not figure on the compulsory Universiade program. In 2008, 29 different WUC were staged all over the world. For more info or pictures, do not hesitate to contact FISU Media department at media@fisu.net or surf to www.fisu.net.