By Michael Pavitt

Granada have taken over hosting duties from Slovakia ©Getty ImagesThe second part of the 2015 Winter Univerisade has got underway after Granada in Spain hosted the Opening Ceremony.

The event was staged inside the Granada Congress Palace, with a philharmonic orchestra playing a central role as the Spanish city welcomed student athletes.

Regional songs and dances also greeted the athletes and delegates as Granada assumed hosting duties after the Slovakian venues of Štrbské Pleso and Orsible had hosted Nordic and biathlon events until February 3.

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Claude-Louis Gallien welcomed the athletes and thanked the Spanish authorities for their organisation of the event, before encouraging the spirit of fair play.

"The real victory is not to defeat one's opponents," he said.

"The only true victory is to conquer oneself and the others in the competition are there to help you.

"In summary, I believe that anything is possible for those who dream, dare, working together and never give up.

"You are one of them; for you anything is possible.

"Be as you wish to be, champions here during the Universiade, and leaders that will build a better world, tomorrow."

The FISU flag was raised as part of the Opening Ceremony to officially start the Games ©Getty ImagesThe FISU flag was raised as part of the Opening Ceremony to officially start the Games ©Getty Images

Following Gallien's speech the FISU flag was raised in the venue and José Torres Hurtado, chairman of the Organising Committee and the Mayor of Granada was invited to officially declare the competition open.

Athletes will compete until February 14, with Alpine skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, short track speed skating and snowboarding the seven events that will be held.

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