Lake Placid last hosted the Winter World University Games in 1972. The International University Sports Federation announced in 2018 that the Olympic village will again host the winter competition in 2023. The Adirondack Sports Council, which is coordinating plans for the games, hosted a virtual town hall this week to update the region on progress toward the international competition.
From January 12 through the 22nd, 2023 the Lake Placid and Adirondack region is expecting more than 2,500 athletes, coaches and officials from 50 nations to compete in 13 winter sports across the region.
The Adirondack Sports Council’s first town hall was virtual with an extensive video that began with a message from Oleg Matytsin, president of the International University Sports Federation. “Winter sports of the World University Games are second only to the Olympic Winter Games in scope and in scale. A great many of the Olympians from Beijing 2022 will be here as will many winter sports stars of the future. Three years from now many of the finest young people in the world will meet once again in Lake Placid: athletes, scholars, future leaders.”
The games are staged every two years and include sports such as alpine and Nordic skiing, ski jumping, figure skating, biathalon, ice hockey and snowboarding. In another video segment Olympic Regional Development Authority President and CEO Mike Pratt described some of the preparations for the games. “We’re at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Five Olympic sports train here in preparation for the World University Games. We’re planning to host events at Whiteface Mountain for alpine skiing, at Gore Mountain for freestyle skiing and at the Olympic Center for hockey, figure skating and short track speed skating and at the Oval for long track speed skating. For the World University Games both the opening ceremony, all the awards and medal ceremonies and the closing ceremonies will be outdoors.”
The town hall also featured videos from local and regional officials expressing enthusiasm for the games. During its live session, Adirondack Sports Council Marketing Director Chris Carroll explained the athletic events are only a part of the World University Games. “We also will have, and this will be open to all the students and spectators as well, educational symposiums going on. It’s a requirement of the games. There’ll be a lot of educational events. Because of the fact that we’re bringing 50 different nations together the diversity and the opportunity to bring that diversity to light will be a big part of what we want to do. So there’ll be athletic events staged every single day and sometimes in the evenings but in between all of that the cultural activities, the educational activities, the fun evening activities on Main Street will all be a big part of the games.”
The games will include venues and facilities in Essex, Warren, Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties.
The 2023 winter games mark the first time the World University Games have been held in the United States since the summer of 1993 and the winter of 1972.