Heritage of Universiade and Olympic Games - Investment and Development Opportunities

Heritage of Universiade and Olympic Games - Investment and Development Opportunities


M.M. Bariev, Secretary-General of the Russian Olympic Committee, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs
Russian Federation State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs, Moscow

Key words: university sport, economy, development, investments.

Having united 159 countries, XXVII World summer Universiade brilliantly and successfully started in Kazan in July 2013 and showed the significant rise of university sport specific for both our country and all countries of the world. The higher level of the Universiade organization is obvious along with the athletes’ performance comparable to Olympic athletes.

It is therefore not by chance that the two Russian cities - Kazan and Sochi were chosen for staging the most prestigious complex competitions. This choice was justified by the results of the previous Universiade and the recognition of the stable social, economic and political situation in Russia by the international sport community.

Staging Olympic Games and Universiade is the most important catalyst for leading to investments inflow into the cities’ infrastructure, creating sustainable legacies, strengthening political and national statuses, increasing the sport competitiveness of the country, forming the sense of patriotism and civil identity, generating a lot of interest in sport and encouraging people and especially the younger generation to get involved.

With the obvious differences Universiade and Olympic Games share the same model of Games staging. But in what sense?

They have an enormous impact on all aspects of life, covering areas such as politics, economy, culture, education, booming sports development, which is the unifying force throughout the world promoting the principles of humanism and consolidation. The Olympic and university sports movement is an effective tool for creation and development of state as well as preparation of the younger generation during democratic and innovative development of our country.

Universiade provides an opportunity to master all the components that ensure the high level of staging of complex events, discover the most promising athletes, potential participants of the Olympic Games during the competitions. Athletes’ victories at the Universiade are also as important as Olympic victories.

The Russian Olympic Committee, Ministry of Sport, sport federations increasingly evaluate the preparation and staging of the Universiade as a review of the sports reserve for national teams. The FISU status and the sphere of influence are increasing in the global sports movement. In recent years, FISU has significantly strengthened its structure, normative, regulatory base, which improves the overall quality of preparation and staging of university games and world championships.

This is evidenced by the presence of Olympic Family members at the Universiade in Kazan: international sports federations, national Olympic committees, leaders of the Olympic Committees. Representatives from more than 10 countries visited the World University Games in Kazan.

The Olympic Games and Universiade are focused on the humanitarian spirit of sports, taking into account the codes of fair play, which promote the development of fair competition, embed the spirit of sport into young generations. I am positive that many of thousands of spectators from the stands of the current Universiade will eventually get involved in sport.

Staging such large scale and complex events is set to leave the Games Legacy and contribute to the state strategic goals by improving the living standards of the capital and its residents and increasing the motivation to healthy lifestyle.

The Olympics and the Universiade provide both tangible and intangible forms of legacies. Which long lasting benefits and advantages do both of these types of legacies deliver?

Tangible legacy means opportunities opened up by the Games towards the economy, infrastructure development, investment inflow and resources concentration. Tangible legacies can include transportation infrastructure (airports, railway, metro, roads and junctions, means of transport), health care, food, accommodation, security facilities, reconstruction of cultural and historical sites, urban regeneration and beautification, landscaping of green areas and parks. One of the examples is the Universiade park which is one of the urban parklands opened up in Kazan just before the Universiade.

Olympic Games and the Universiade provide a unique opportunity to influence the economy in terms of increasing the flow of tourists into host cities and host countries. We all witnessed Kazan considerably changing its appearance and taking a huge step forward towards hosting thousands of guests.

Undoubtedly one of the most significant factors of the successful preparation to the Olympic Games and the Universiade is the development of the total infrastructure reinforced by investments. In the case of Olympics 2014 in Sochi more than one trillion one hundred thirty six billion rubles were involved for the construction and renovation of 183 different venues. 737 billion rubles out of this amount belong to investors' funds, the remaining 399 billion rubles were provided by the state. The construction of sports facilities and minimum infrastructure necessary for their operation costs about 200 billion rubles on average, the half of it (which is more than 93 billion rubles) is allocated by the investors.

The original budget for the Universiade in Kazan was 228 billion rubles, including the construction and infrastructure renovation costs. 148 billion rubles were state funded and 80 billion rubles were provided by investors. For comparison, an analysis of the results of the Universiade 2005 in Izmir conducted by Dr. Rizwan Ekmekci, shows that out of the total budget of one hundred and five million dollars, 78 millions belonged to state money and 27 millions were provided by investors, which is 26% of the total budget. Therefore it is obvious that the preparation and implementation of such complex global sports events represents a real opportunity to attract investments required for further development of the urban economy as a whole and also its individual areas (sports, services, transportation, cultural centres). In the end we can see that such events have the power to deliver lasting benefits which considerably change the society, its image and infrastructure and trigger a number of benefits including the investment climate in the region.

In this connection various significant opportunities are provided to create relevant conditions helping to engage into sports the whole community. In accordance with the “Legacy of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan” concept approved by the Government of the Russian Federation, 18 sports facilities were transferred to Kazan educational institutions enabling to completely reorganize the learning process of students and develop the university sport movement. In general, the full range of constructed facilities both for the Olympic Games in Sochi and the Universiade in Kazan already acts as the main platform for nurturing the next generations of champions and high-class athletes, the development of youth and university sports, increase the popularity and uptake of sport across the entire nation. The competition venues in Sochi will be eventually turned into community child sports centers.

The main objective is to use all the venues in the most efficient and practical way, to make them available to all categories of the population and turn them into centers for a healthy living.

Thus, the tangible legacy of the Olympic Games and the Universiade enables the reform process and invests into the entire cities’ infrastructure. In addition, the construction and maintenance of the new venues solve the problem of employment and generate new job opportunities, bring sports facilities closer to study locations and residential neighborhoods, allowing more free time for sports and ultimately improving the living standards and health.

The intangible legacies of the Olympic Games and the Universiade are no less important. They give the opportunity to improve the image of the whole country and host cities, contribute to significant growth in the tourism and economic sectors. Intangible legacy can lead to a boost in volunteerism development, increase the number of people engaged in sports activities, raise the level of national teams’ performance and develop sports management. It is quite typical that the preparation to such prestigious international competitions demands the needs for quality education, learning of languages, history and culture of Games participating countries, involvement of highly qualified specialists working in the sphere of physical culture and sports. The legacy has a significant impact on improving the culture of spectator behavior at the events and the overall cultural level of the population. The bidding campaign for the rights to host the Universiade in 2013 and Sochi 2014 has generated a great interest for studying foreign languages.

The Legacy enables expanding the educational opportunities for young people engaging the international high-class experts. This is evidenced by the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi newly established by the Russian Government jointly with the International Olympic Committee, and the FISU Educational Centre established by the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan jointly with the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation and the International University Sports Federation on the basis of the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism. These educational institutions will train highly qualified managers and organizers of major sports events in Russia, its regions and other countries helping to spread the Olympic knowledge and values around the world and ​​contributing to the development of sports, education and international cooperation.

During the Universiade in Kazan, FISU Educational Center, together with the International University Sports Federation, the International Sports Press Association and the Universiade Executive Committee launched a two-week U-media sports journalism education programme. It provides young and talented sport journalists with a unique training experience in various aspects of sports reporting and introduces to them the professional sport vocabulary in English. Students are taught by the experts from Canada, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, USA and Russia.

The preparation for the Universiade in Kazan and the Olympic Games in Sochi has set the new level of volunteer movement development in our country. Our volunteers derived a lot of benefits and knowledge from the traineeship programmes in the cities of Belgrade, Istanbul, Vancouver, working at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, Asian Games in Astana, test events organized before the Universiade in Kazan and Sochi. All of these events proved a good preparation of our volunteers and boosted the interest of young people to be a part of the volunteer movement. It is evident that the fresh impetus given to the volunteers’ movement by the Universiade in Kazan and the Olympics in Sochi will be a strong basis for further development. A new law “On the volunteer movement” has been drafted by the Russian Federation State Duma.

The Universiade and the Olympic Games Legacy value includes the expanding range of people involved in the process of preparation and staging along with the increased interest in sport and large-scale spectacular competitions. They attracted the attention of politicians and, social and cultural leaders, journalists, community sports representatives.

We are not admitting it at the moment but there is certain concern about the lack of resources required to manage the increased large scale and high speed of the Universiade sports development and the increased number of sports in the programme. The IOC gets ready for the Olympic Games during four years and it requires a lot of strength, the Universiade is held every two years, in this context, the question is if we are able to withstand such intense pace or should we rather include any restrictive mechanisms following the example set once by IOC.

Therefore staging of the Universiade in Kazan is both an outstanding opportunity for university sports development, a chance to bring the young generations together as well as the rehearsal of all concepts, models, for the upcoming 22nd Olympic Games in Sochi, as we share a common goal – to set the new sports records and consolidate the global sports movement.


  1. Marat Bariev. Kazan is able to surprise the world for more than two weeks [Electronic source]: electronic newspaper “Moskovskij komsomolets MK.RU”  / M. Bariev. – URL: http://kazan.mk.ru/article/2013/08/07/895715-marat-bariev-kazan-sposobna... (In Russian)