The Winteruniversiade Innsbruck/Seefeld 2005 opens at Innsbruck’s Tivoli Neu-Stadion

- Impressive stage show featured


The Winteruniversiade Innsbruck/Seefeld 2005 has opened. Shortly after 6 p.m., Austrian president Heinz Fischer spoke the magic words: "I declare the games open." Whereupon the athletes, public officials, numerous VIP�'s and the huge numbers of spectators that turned out for the event at Innsbruck�'s Tivoli Neu soccer stadium, gave a rousing cheer.

The official opening event also featured a show magnificently staged by the Austrian director Hans Kudlich that combined traditional elements such as the March of Nations with modern and innovative elements. Impressive as well was the stage design by Innsbruck architect professor Kjetil Thorsen, who imbued Tivoli Neu-Stadion with the ambience of a glittering winter wonderland.

President Fischer was clearly pleased to be in attendance: "I�'d like to congratulate the Winteruniversiade organizers for this innovative and totally successful opening event. I will not soon forget the enthusiasm of these young people from around the world."

The sports community was represented by prominent guests such as Austria�'s Olympics committee chairman Leo Wallner and FIS president Gian Franco Kasper.

Numerous Austrian luminaries were in attendance in addition to President Fischer, including Austria�'s minister of college athletics Elisabeth Gehrer, Austria�'s minister of labor and economic affairs Martin Bartenstein, as well as Herbert Haupt, Gunther Platter, Liese Prokop, Josef Proll and Maria Rauch-Kallat. European education and athletics commissioners Franz Fischler and Jan Figel were in attendance, as was New York City�'s deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff.

The head of the Tirolian provincial government Herwig van Staa enjoyed the event as well. "I have witnessed the spirit of today�'s Tirolian youth at this opening event." she said. "It is important for us to be a guiding light not only in sports but also in the field of education." FISU president George E. Killian also expressed his admiration for the event: "During my long career in sports administration I�'ve been to many opening ceremonies. Tonight was absolutely special."

Winteruniversiade organizing committee chairman Michael Bielowski was particularly pleased at this positive feedback from sports opinion leaders: "We couldn�'t have hoped for a more wonderful prelude to the pleasures that await us over the next ten days." Thus did the winter college athletic games get underway.

Photo credits:


For further information:

Bernd Obermayr

Press officer

ISOC 2005 - Organizing committee for the

Winteruniversiade Innsbruck/Seefeld 2005

phone: +43 (0) 512 5360 - 2005,

fax: +43 (0) 512 5360 - 2006,

cellphone: +43 (0) 664 8455 216,