The 3rd edition of the European Universities Games opened at a ceremony in Zagreb's Mladost stadium on Wednesday evening.
The event was opened by Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic who thanked the organisers on their effort and the successful organisation of the games.
The ceremony was also attended by Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner, and the mayors of both host cities Milan Bandic (Zagreb) and Vojko Obersnel (Rijeka).
The Croatian capital Zagreb and the northern Adriatic city of Rijeka are hosting the 3rd edition of the EUG from 12 to 25 July, after the first and the second edition of this multisport competition took place in Cordoba in 2012 and in Rotterdam in 2014.
Over 5,000 students of nearly 400 universities from 41 European countries have come to Croatia for the Games and are competing in 21 sports. The closing ceremony will be held simultaneously in Zagreb and Rijeka on July 25.
Sports featured are Badminton, Basketball, Basketball 3x3, Beach Volleyball, Bridge, Chess, Football, Futsal, Golf, Handball, Judo, Karate, Rowing, Rugby 7's, Sport Climbing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo, according to information provided by the European University Sports Association (EUSA) that governs the games. Two of the sports - Table Tennis and Swimming - will also include competitions for students with disabilities.
The official website of the Games is www.eug2016.com and the mascot is a pet hamster called "Hrki", while the official slogan is "Heart Believes, Mind Achieves".
The admission to venues during contests is free of charge. The two cities also organise side events such as concerts and educational workshops.
Two dormitories and their adjacent amenities in Zagreb were renovated and a new dormitory on Trsat campus in Rijeka was built for the purpose of the games. The costs of renovation and construction of those facilities was funded by 400 million euros provided from European Union funds.