Russian racing driver Sergei Karyakin has been named as the first ambassador of the 2023 Summer World University Games in Yekaterinburg.
The 30-year-old, who won the Dakar Rally in the quad bike category in 2017, was unveiled during Yekaterinburg's "May Walk" event which attracts thousands of people every year.
He was presented with a certificate at the Opening Ceremony of the walk, which this year featured a Yekaterinburg 2023 theme.
"It is a great honour to become the first ambassador of the World University Games," said Karyakin, who was born in Yekaterinburg.
"It is a grand event, which Yekaterinburg will host efficiently and with pride.
"Experience in holding some of the largest sporting tournaments will help us in that.
"I am certain that nothing will get in the way of showing off our wonderful city to the world."
To celebrate Yekaterinburg 2023, the May Walk this year was 23 kilometres long.
Games mascots Yaggy, Heaty and Cedry were found at the start line and finish and prizes were given to the youngest and oldest walkers.
"This event and its tradition once again prove that Yekaterinburg was the right choice as the host of the Games," said local Government official Oleg Kolesnikov.
"I extend my thanks to the city and region administration for their active part in organising such events."
Russia is due to host the Summer World University Games for the second time, following Kazan's hosting of the Summer Universiade in 2013.
Moscow staged the Summer Universiade in 1973 when it was part of the Soviet Union.
Yekaterinburg 2023 is planned for between August 8 and 19.