MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Youth sports in Russia is currently at a very high level and cannot be rivaled in the world today, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday commenting on the results of the national team at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan’s Almaty.
"I am very happy for our university athletes and we view them as our future reserve," Mutko, who oversees issues regarding sports, tourism and youth policies in the country, told journalists.
"We have no rivals in the world in terms of youth sports," Mutko said. "However, we need to be moving further."
The Russian national team enjoys a strong lead in the medals standings of the 2017 Winter Universiade, boasting a total of 70 medals (28 gold, 27 silver and 15 bronze medals) on the last day of the international tournament. Russia’s closest contender in the second place is team Kazakhstan, which packs a total of 35 medals (11 gold, seven silver, 17 bronze).
"I hope that our ice hockey players will successfully cap the result (of the national team) today," Mutko added.
The Russian national ice hockey team is playing against hosts Kazakhstan on Wednesday in the final competition of the 2017 FISU Winter Universiade, held in Almaty between January 29 and February 8.
The Winter Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city. The name of the international sports event is a combination of two words, which are ‘University’ and ‘Olympiad.’
It is only second to the Olympic Games. The program of the Winter Universiade currently includes 6 compulsory sports (8 compulsory disciplines) and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country.
The next Winter Universiade is scheduled to be held in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk in 2019. Krasnoyarsk, which has a population of over one million, was elected to host the 2019 Winter Universiade at the session of the FISU Executive Committee in Brussels in 2013. The event is scheduled for March 2-12, 2019.