Five years after having won the right to stage the 27th Universiade, journalists and popular social network users were invited to put questions to several high-ranking officials at the Aquatics Palace, one of the key venues of the upcoming Games.
Rafis Burganov (Minister of Youth, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan), Ilsur Metshin, (Mayor of Kazan), Larisa Sulima (Deputy Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate) and Igor Sivov (Deputy Director General of the Universiade Executive) were on the panel.
The discussion was moderated by Dilyara Khasanova, Director of the Media Department of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate.
Addressing the audience, Metshin acknowledged that a huge amount of work had been undertaken over the past five years, completely transforming and modernising Kazan to earn its title of sports capital of the nation.
The Mayor thanked the media warmly for their objective coverage of the Games preparations that have now entered the home stretch.
“Construction operations not related to the Universiade, for example, major repairs of schools, residential areas, construction of social mortgage and commercial housing will continue," he added. "Life will go on.
"The Universiade is the current stage of development in Kazan and the city will continue to develop afterwards."
The city is already in the process of searching for a site to construct a new ice rink that will be the home of Kazan Dragons, the amateur ice hockey team who won the Night Hockey League.
According to Burganov, Kazan is also being considered as a venue for the World Athletics Championships in 2016 and is vying to host the Russian Athletics Championships in 2014.
Details of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games - previously a closely-guarded secret - were also disclosed at the meeting.
“The opening will be staged in a classical style: ballet, opera, large-scale lighting effects, beautiful dances and choreographed production," Metshin said.
"But the closing ceremony will be filled with youthful vibe. There will be appearances by Garik Sukachyov, Zemfira, Mumiy Troll, Yolka, Mashina Vremeni, Bi-2," he added.
- Ilsur Metshin