The Winter Universiade will be postponed to December 2021
The Winter Universiade was supposed to take place in central Switzerland and Lenzerheide in January 2021. Now those responsible have found a postponement date.
(stg) The Winter Universiade will take place from 11 to 21 December 2021 in central Switzerland and in Lenzerheide. The organizers will announce it on Friday afternoon.
The organizing committee and Swiss sport are very happy with the decision. “Especially in times of crisis, Switzerland needs lighthouse projects more than ever. With the postponement of the Winter Universiade, Central Switzerland is leading by example ”, says Matthias Remund, head of the Federal Office of Sport. And Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl adds: For many young people, sport means perspective.
«The Winter Universiade offers a platform for important topics such as high-level sport and study. These issues must not be forgotten in the pandemic. “
The evaluation of the epidemiological development was also central to the evaluation of the postponement. The organizing committee called Daniel Koch, former head of the Communicable Diseases Department at the Federal Office of Public Health. “I am convinced that the winter Universiade can take place in the winter of 21/22”, says Koch. This belief is based on the assessment that the pandemic can be managed much better in a year. On the one hand, because this winter, thanks to the rapid tests, the test capacities will be increased and a vaccination will probably be available next summer. On the other hand, the Summer Olympics in Japan would also provide a lot of experience on how the games can be performed with protective concepts and certain precautions.
The event is important for tourism and the hotel sector
According to a study by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, the added value of the multisport event for the region is over 70 million francs. “This demonstrates the importance of the event in the current crisis,” says Urs Hunkeler, CEO of the Winter Universiade. Tourism in particular sees the winter Universiade as an important showcase. Around 35,000 overnight stays were generated in the eleven days of the event alone. And: “With the images of competitions in major tourist destination markets, the region can position itself as a winter sports destination for future tourism activity,” says Lucerne Director of Tourism Marcel Perren.
Friday’s decision is also an important signal for the hotel industry: “The decision by the cantons of Central Switzerland and the city of Lucerne to postpone the winter Universiade, which will have a global impact, is an important message for our hotel industry, as well as for the entire tourism value chain The motivation in this difficult situation “, explains Conrad Meier, President of Luzern Hotels.
The decision for the event should give the athletes perspective
Christoph Böcklin, head of the delegation of the Winter Universiade at the Swiss University Sports, is also very happy: “The dream of the Home Universiade Team Suisse 2021 lives on. Although we have to wait a little longer, this decision offers the athletes a prospect for a great sporting event in conditions hopefully normalized. “
The Winter Universiade is the largest winter multisport event after the Olympic Games. The 30th edition was originally scheduled for January 21st to 31st 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the international university sports association FISU, together with the organizing committee and Swiss University Sports, decided at the end of August this year to stop preparations for an implementation in January 2021.