TORONTO– A total of 102 student-athletes will represent Canada at the 30th FISU Winter Universiade, held from December 11-21 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
U SPORTS announced on Tuesday that nine teams from seven sports will travel to Switzerland to take part in the event, originally scheduled for January 2021. Canada will compete in ice hockey (W & M), curling (W & M), alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, snowboarding and short track speed skating. This is the first FISU Universiade since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, some 144 people will be exhibiting the Maple Leaf in and around Lucerne, including coaches and mission staff. The complete list is available below.
“We are thrilled to have this exceptional group of student-athletes, coaches, and staff heading to Switzerland for what is sure to be an outstanding experience”, said Ben Matchett, Team Canada’s Chef de Mission. “It is always an honour to wear your nation’s colours, and we know that Team Canada will represent our country with pride at Lucerne 2021.”
“While we’re all excited to get back to sport and experience all that the Winter Universiade has to offer in a beautiful part of the world, our first priority will always be the health and safety of the Canadian delegation,” added Matchett. “FISU and the Lucerne organizing committee have put in place stringent protocols to ensure the safety of participants including mandatory vaccination and testing, and we know we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy.”
This is the first time in nearly 50 years that the FISU Winter Universiade will be held in Switzerland, as the 1962 competition took place in Villars. In 2019, Canada won five medals in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, including one gold, two silver and two bronze. The best Canadian medal count was in Belluno, Italy in 1985 (18 medals; 5 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze).
The Lucerne 2021 Opening Ceremony will take place on December 11 at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. EST, 10:30 a.m. PST). However, curling and ice hockey matches will occur in the days leading up to the official opening.
“We are very proud of every student-athlete and staff member representing Team Canada at the 2021 FISU Winter Universiade,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, Chief Sport Officer at U SPORTS. “I applaud them all for their diligence and patience as we waited for these games to arrive after an 11-month delay. The entire Mission team and coaching staff are working very hard to provide the student-athletes the best possible and safest experience in Switzerland. I wish them all good luck in their final preparation.”