By Marzia De Giuli
TRENTO, Italy, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The 26th Winter Universiade is to start here on Wednesday celebrating in Italy's Trentino, renowned for its Dolomites Mountains, the close link between sports activities and global collaboration for development.
In the launch news conference held a day before the event's official opening, organizers said they were very satisfied with the results achieved in only one year and half of preparations instead of the six years usually granted to an Organizing Committee.
A total of around 6,000 accredited people will take part to the event, which runs from Dec. 11-21, including some 2,700 student- athletes from 52 countries and regions representing a number of about 800 universities.
The "hard work done" was also possible thanks to the collaboration of more than 2,000 volunteers involved in the organization, Winter Universiade Trentino 2013 Organizing Committee President Sergio Anesi told journalists.
Anesi noted the Winter Universiade Trentino 2013 will be "the largest multi-disciplinary winter sports event ever organized in the Trentino region and the largest winter sports event of 2013 at global level."
In fact Universiade was "more than any other type of competition, because beside very good sport we also have education, culture, health, sustainability and innovation," President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Claude-Louis Gallien pointed out.
How can be a Universiade successful? Not only it is necessary to host great sports events, but organizers also need to work very seriously "to be a model for others" and especially build a " friendly" environment, Gallien said.
"We have students here who will be the leaders of tomorrow," the FISU head said highlighting the importance of multilevel education and collaboration between countries. "Youth is a very good investment," he also added.
The Organizing Committee worked with FISU and with the University of Trento to organize scientific events in parallel.
In the "University Sport: Inspiring Innovation" international conference on sports and innovation that opened in Rovereto (near Trento) on Monday, researchers, sport people, investors, market analysts and policy makers explored what is the role of university sport in supporting the technological and social innovation challenges of the next decade's globalized world.
A key topic of confrontation was environmental sustainability, Gallien said. "For example, what are the consequences of the new techniques that we need to promote? I found some new ideas of research very interesting."
The context of rose-tinted Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, particularly underlined the importance of protecting the fragile mountain ecosystem. The 26th Winter Universiade will count on sustainable mobility, waste management systems and environmental guidelines.
Anesi and Gallien also told Xinhua they were set to hold special meetings in the coming days with local authorities and the representatives of the 130-member Chinese Sports Delegation, which includes 59 Chinese athletes from eight sport universities and institutes.
The Winter Universiade Trentino 2013 will be an important occasion to foster sports, cultural, economic and political relations between Italy and China and prepare the ground for new partnerships, they said.