The Games officially opened at the packed Mladost Stadium in Zagreb on July 13 in the evening with a fantastic opening ceremony. The ceremony, broadcast live on national TV (HRT), started with an introduction of host cities and the performance of the official song of the Games – As long as heart believes. Participants and the organizers of the 1987 Summer Universiade carried the flag of the European University Sports Association - EUSA, passing it to the second group, consisting of several Croatian trophy-winning athletes.
Before the oaths were taken, the attendees were addressed by the president of the European Universities Games Zagreb – Rijeka 2016 Mr Zrinko Custonja, the Rector of the University of Zagreb Mr Damir Boras, the President of the European University Sports Associationn Mr Adam Roczek and the Croatian Prime Minister Mr Tihomir Oreskovic. EUSA President Mr Roczek recalled the famous Universiade in 1987 and thanked the organizers of the Games in Zagreb and Rijeka. Legacy of that Universiade was confirmed also by the presence of FISU President Mr Oleg Matytsin.
In the course of the event, competitions were held in 21 sports - Badminton, Basketball, Basketball 3x3, Beach Volleyball, Bridge, Chess, Football, Futsal, Golf, Handball, Judo, Karate, Rowing, Rugby 7's, Sport Climbing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball, with Swimming and Water Polo as demonstrative sports. For the first time in the history of the EUSA sports events, students with disabilities competed as well in para swimming and para table tennis competitions. Apart from the competitions, participants enjoyed also accompanying social and entertainment, as well as educational activities.
At the closing ceremony, broadcast also live on national Croatian TV, representatives of all key partners were present. Organising Committee of the European Universities Games Zagreb-Rijeka 2016 (EUG2016) and the European University Sports Association (EUSA) thanked everyone for their contribution in making the Games a success. "Rijeka, Zagreb, and all of Croatia should be proud of the great success of the Games. You have brought together thousands of people in the name of sport, made us feel like one big family and organized the best European Universities Games in history," stated EUSA President, Mr Adam Roczek.
The Closing ceremony featured a cultural and entertainment programme, and concluded with the lowering of EUSA flag, accompanied by the live performance of Gaudeamus Igitur anthem. EUSA flag was then passed to the representatives of the organisers of the next European Universities Games, which will take place in July 2018 in Coimbra, Portugal.
For more news, results and photos, please see www.eusa.eu and www.eug2016.com.