As the clock reached its final year in the countdown to 2021 Winter University Games, discussions focused on the importance of "dual careers" as six leaders and sport and education led a forum in the host city of Lucerne.
Olympian and whitewater kayak world champion, Mike Kurt, the President of Swiss University Sports, kicked off the lectures.
He stressed the necessity for students to be able to study as well as compete in sport, stating it is integral to the Swiss sports system.
"It is central to the Swiss sports system that athletes can complete a course of study concurrently with their sporting activities," said Kurt.
"The participants in the discussion agreed that Winter Universiade 2021 is an ideal platform to create new impetus for the dual career, and to further improve the compatibility of top-class sport and studies in cooperation with universities and professional associations."
The other five speakers came from a mixture of sport and education: Dr Martina Caroni, vice-rector of University of Lucerne; Dr. Sarah Springman, rector of ETZ Zurich; Swiss Ice Hockey chief executive Patrick Bloch; Lucerne curler and 2019 Junior World Championship medalist, Selina Witschonke; and finally Michael Schmid, an elite rower turned sports science doctoral candidate who proved to be a mix of both.
Aside from educational discussions, there were revisits from former Universiade athletes, including Sochi 2014 Olympic biathlon silver medalist Selina Gasparin and double Summer Universiade gold medalist, sprinter Salomé Kora, who spoke about how dedication from herself and her coaching as well as an understanding university, was so important in her success.
“To bring my studies and sport under one roof, I needed flexibility not only for myself, but also from my trainer and my university," Kora said.
"Having this support was so important to follow, and eventually finish, my student plan."
Festivities also included the unveiling of the mascot for the Games: a red, yeti-like creature designed by animation student Luisa Zürcher and which is due to be publicly named on January 29 during the Youth and Junior World Biathlon Championships in Lenzerheide.
Lucerne 2021 is due to commence on January 21 and conclude on January 31 next year.