The first participants to mention turned out to be young male athletes taking part in Super-G and representing our homeland Kazakhstan and Holland.
Sergei Danov, Kazakhstan
I am a student at the Academy of Tourism and Sports in Almaty.
These mountains are familiar to me. We trained there constantly. At the training spot there were many stones. So, we prepared not the way we wanted. The mountain and ice were broken. This year we did not train on the ice at all. Thus, it is a lot hard to move from snow to ice.
I chose the flight not correctly. But I could perform much better. Before finish is the double turn - so called banana, decided to take a bit higher and it did not work.
The competition is very strong, in fact, there are guys with the World Cups, for instance, Aleksander Andrienko, who literally took the 16th place in the World Championship.
It is my first Universiade, so many positive impressions, such powerful support from start to finish, my parents, many of my friends, came.
We are friends with the national team of Kyrgyzstan, visit each other’s places, keep warm relations.
Olaf Johan Theo Borsboom, Netherlands
I study at Eindhoven University of Technology. I study Engineering. I am here to do Alpine skiing Super-G today from Alpine combination. And I love it so far. The atmosphere is really great, I made lots of new friends here, volunteers are very nice as well, so I am having a good time.
I am in Kazakhstan for the first time. We only went to the Athletic village and Shymbulak, and in the future I am planning to see the city. As my last race is on the 7th of February I am going to stay here till the end.
It is not my first Universiade, as I also competed in 2013 in Trentino, Italy.
I hope everyone has a great time and meets a lot of new people and makes a lot of great new memories.
My coach Leroy Schrijnemaekers is one of my coaches in the season and he came with me on this trip, for 4 years he was my coach.
Unfortunately, I don’t know about Kazakhstan much. And I am sorry to say that I saw the movie by Borat about Kazakhstan. I also know the cycling team and I know that in Astana was built a new city
But I don’t’ know about the people and culture of Kazakhstan much, so, I hope that I will learn more in the future, it seems rather interesting!
The national team from Russia showed extremely good results in the Universiade and one of them was the young lady Anastasiia who became the golden medal holder in the Ladies Alpine Combined Super-G.
Anastasiia Silanteva, Russia
The I was afraid but I knew what speed is awaiting me. When I started to ski I felt the track which was icy and a bit broken. Anyway, I could fight myself and knew that I had to reach the finish line.
As for the opponents I can say all of them are strong.
After this Universiade I am going to the Junior World Championship. Hope to show the best results.
Points deficit was not that big and that is not that much, so, I was able to win back in the final.
To pass the Universiade atmosphere from Shymbulak in Almaty we would like to share with the emotions and impressions of the Canadian citizen, retired man who purposefully came to Kazakhstan as the volunteer.
Anthony Michael Henry Hill, Canada
I am a Sports Information center volunteer at the Universiade. It is my first volunteering experience!
In fact, I am from Canada and for half a year I am in Almaty as a volunteer. For half a year I usually go to the Mediterranean near Italy.
Notwithstanding my age, I decided to take a chance. Earlier, I was in Calgary in Winter Olympics. And it was not like here, in Almaty. Because at those winter games there were mostly older, retired people. Here, on the contrary, are lot of young people.
Calgary is my city. My son lives in Vancouver . I mainly only know western Canada.
Before retirement I was qualified as the accountant and was trying to introduce western accounting standards in Kazakhstan and Russia.
After Russia I came to Kazakhstan to work and I just stayed on because it is somehow easier to live in Kazakhstan than in Russia, people here are more easy-going, not too many regulations. And Russia is a big place, you can get lost in Russia (laughing).
When I was in Calgary. I lost my chance for winter Olympics in Canada about 12 years ago. This Universiade 2017 about 2000 professional volunteers came here like Claudio (sitting at the Information desk) from Venice, Italy. He seems like a sports manager.
Everything is perfect. And I am popular because of my age. I saw a lot volunteers- my peers but they seem to do the job on the slopes. They have got some cruel, hard job, I think.
My task here is to inform people especially from Canada, Australia, USA.
15 years ago I first came to Kazakhstan I was finishing my work and it was finishing here. I also used to work near Karaganda, Zhezkazgan, in the mining industry and previously in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semei. I was engaged with geology there.
As in my youth I used to play tennis as a part of the England team I can partially understand young athletes’ feelings and I wish them train very hard, great success!
By Malika MURSALIMOVA
Photos: the author
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