The International University Sports Federation has selected Lake Placid as the site for the 2023 Winter World University Games. Delegates from the Adirondack North Country Global Sports Committee and FISU signed a memorandum of understanding at the FISU headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland last week after nearly a year and a half of negotiations.
This will be the second time Lake Placid has hosted the Games (the first time was in 1972) and the third time New York State has hosted (Buffalo hosted in 1993). The Games have never been hosted by another state in the U.S.
The ADKNC Global Sports Committee has been working with FISU since September to develop the bid. In February, members of the FISU site evaluation committee spent a week in the North Country evaluating the bid committee’s plans for hosting the Games. The committee toured and evaluated the sporting facilities, venues, and lodging properties in Plattsburgh, Potsdam, the tri-lakes area, Wilmington and Gore Mountain.
The ADKNC Global Sports Committee and FISU have until June 15 to finalize a formal agreement. Once the contract is signed, work will begin on creating an official organizing committee and a master plan that will include an action plan and final concept to execute the Games.
The World University Games, organized by FISU, is an international sports and cultural event staged every two years in a different city. The 11-day competition draws over 2,400 student-athletes together to compete in various disciplines including alpine, freestyle and cross-country skiing, biathlon, speed skating, curling, figure skating, hockey, short track speed skating and snowboarding. Optional sports may include ski jumping, Nordic combined, ski orienteering and long track speed skating. Many area sport venues would be utilized for the event, including the Olympic venues managed by the Olympic Regional Development Authority.
Last summer, Lake Placid was chosen to host the 2019 International Children’s Games and the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships.
This international competition is expected to require regional involvement, from using the Plattsburgh International Airport as a port of entry, to the use of SUNY and private colleges and universities for sports venues and volunteers, and regional hospitality facilities.
Photo courtesy International University Sports Federation (FISU): Milan Augustin, FISU Director of Winter Universiade; Doug Stewart, ADKNCGSC Council, Brendan Hughes, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, New York State; Betty Little, New York State Senator; Jeff Byrne, Vice President of the Olympic Regional Development Authority; Delise O’Meally, Secretary General of the United States International University Sports Federation; Oleg Matytsin, FISU President; Craig Randall, Lake Placid Mayor; Eric Saintrond, FISU CEO/Secretary General; Darcy Norfolk, bid director; JoAnn McKenna; member of ADKNCGSC; James McKenna, CEO of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.