FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond recently travelled to Pyeongchang, where he met with the local authorities and discussed the possibility of the South Korean city hosting a second major sporting spectacle in the space of 12 months.
Saintrond met with the mayor of Pyeongchang, Seok Rae Lee, who confirmed his interest in the 2019 event.
There is a precedent for an Olympic city to host the Winter Universiade soon after: in 2007 Turin doubled up after the 2006 Games, enabling the Italian city to make continued use of the newly-built sports facilities and the athletes’ village. In addition, the Winter Universiade also benefited from the support of the thousands of volunteers who had been given high-quality training.
The suitability of Pyeongchang, which finally won its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games after twice losing out in 2010 and 2014, seems clear.
The small city in the Gwandon province, a three-hour drive from Seoul’s international airport at Incheon, already has the requisite sports facilities, the bobsleigh and toboggan runs excepted.
The University of Kwandong is located in Gangneung, a town near to Pyeongchang where the ice competitions will take place in 2018. And with over 40,000 students, this institution - part of the EURAS network - is a key partner for FISU's upcoming events, given that the Almaty Technological University and the Kazan Federal University are also members of the network.