27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Tatarstan's Sports Ministry gets rewarded for helping stage best Games

Employees of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan and directors of its subordinate authorities has received well-deserved awards. On January 25, in the presence of Minister Rafis Burganov, Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate, Azat Kadyrov, and CEO of FC Rubin Vladimir Leonov, who had previously headed the Team 2013, handed letters of commendation to all those who contributed to staging the best Summer Universiade ever.

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"On behalf of the ministerial team, I would like to express our satisfaction with the work of the Executive Directorate, which you, Vladimir Aleksandrovich [Leonov], has been leading  the whole time. Azat Rifgatovich [Kadyrov] has been your right hand over the years. Thank you: there were no issues that we have not solved together, as a team, no matter what happened," the Minister said in his welcome speach. 

"We've been thinking a lot about what day will be good enough for holding this recognition ceremony, and together with Rafis Timerkhanovich [Burganov] we decided to make it coincide with Students' Day," said Azat Kadyrov. "Today is a big day, the first anniversary of the event dedicated to the mega project, which we implemented with you - the Russian leg of the Universiade Torch Relay kicked off this day a year ago. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for our joint work, for the experience that I gained here."

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"Today I am present here in a different capaicity, but all those people who are here among the audience, and on the platform, are a big family in which we all lived and worked together for 5 years," Vladimir Leonov admitted. "A year ago we started the Torch Relay and completed it in Kazan last summer. On my own behalf, on behalf of the Directorate's team, I want to say a huge thank you. Due to our well-coordinated work, we managed to achieve such good results. It feels very good to hear someone outside our country say good things about the Universiade, say they want to come to Kazan and see them rejoice at sports results which our city, our Tatarstan show."

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It is a great honour to be part of one of the largest multi-sport global events in the world. The Ministry officials were lucky to be part of it and admitted that the Kazan Universiade will stay in their hearts forever. These July days were a bright experience in the life of every Tatarstan resident. And those who were directly involved in them, could not hold back emotions after watching the video clip. After all, the 27th World University Summer Games have left their mark on the lives of each of the participants.

"Everyone has their own memories, so do I. Basically, we have been involved in working with guests of honour - we met them, accompanied them, took them on venue tours, welcomed delegations," said the employee of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism of Tatarstan, Stanislav Andreev, in an interview with kazan2013.com. "In general, everything was great. All of us had one responsibility, and we all felt joy and heightened enthusiasm."

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Later the same day, there was another awards ceremony. Mayor Ilsur Metshin thanked rectors of Kazan and Kazan 2013 Ambassadors. The event took place in the format of a roundtable meeting in the Kazan City Hall. The participants summed up results of the Universiade, discussed plans for next international sporting events due to be held in the sports capital of Russia in the future.

"Thank you so much for coming - both to the rectors and to the ambassadors; most of them could not come due to their busy schedules, but we will surely thank them," said Ilsur Metshin. "This is a spiritual impulse of the heart, emotions, thoughts, talents and positive energy. Back then when we were bidding to host the Universiade, we promoted Kazan as a city of students. 120,000 students study at universities of our capital. Despite its thousand-year history, it is a city of young people, young energy, the city of tomorrow."

It is symbolic that the awards ceremony was held on January 25, Russian Students' Day. After all, the Universiade is the university games. These young people were actively involved in the sports programme. The Russian student team performed brilliantly; Tatarstan student-athletes contributed more than 40 medals to the team's tally. 19,970 volunteers - 15,000 of which live and study in Kazan - worked at the Games.

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"The immense work was carried out last year to promote the project, the Universiade, healthy lifestyles, volunteering; and our partners - Ambassadors - largely contributed to encouraging all sections of population to take part in the project. Today, once again we want to express our gratitude to them," said Deputy Director General and Chief of Staff of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate, Larisa Sulima.

Renowned athletes Maria Kiseleva, Ekaterina Gamova and Vasily Mosin, as well as opera singer Aida Garifullina and lead vocalist of the Murakami band, Dilyara Vagapova were awarded for active promotion of the 27th World University Summer Games.

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"Thank you for these years and for giving me the honour of working with you. These emotions, the energy, the feelings that have been boiling in me all this time and that live inside me now - there is no place you can get them for nothing," admitted Maria Kiseleva. "I'm so in love with this city. So many changes happened right before my eyes here. I made a lot of friends, it is impossible to measure them in numbers only through emotions. You raised the Universiade to the standard which has never been seen before. I'm an athlete, and I should admit that earlier people did not consider the Universiade as a major sporting event. The Games have become one of the most prestigious tournaments thanks to the fact that the Universiade was held to the highest standard here in Kazan."

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"When people pronounce the word 'Universiade', my heart speeds up, because my mind turns to our train trip through the cities and towns of Russia with the FISU Flag Relay," shared her memories Dilyara Vagapova. "Of course, we met a lot of people on your way and told them about the Universiade, which will be held in Kazan in 2013... It's a pity it ended. Today we remember the mega event that Kazan gave to all of us."

The 2013 Summer Universiade was the first multi-sport event in the history of modern Russia. A huge experience gained at the Games will certainly come in handy in the preparation and delivery of other high-profile events that Kazan is going to host in the years to come.

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate