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Lake Placid set to host 2023 winter Universiade

Lake Placid appears set to host the 2023 winter Universiade after the International University Sports Federation (FISU) approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the US resort’s bid for the multi-sport event.

The move comes after FISU leaders visited Lake Placid last month. The MoU was signed in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lake Placid hosted the winter Universiade in 1972 and the winter Olympic Games in 1932 and 1980. The resort has hosted 14 World Championship events and more than 100 World Cup competitions since 1980. It was the only bidder for the 2023 winter Universiade.

FISU president Oley Matytsin said: “FISU continues to be very impressed by Lake Placid and the Adirondack region. We are pleased to formalise our dialogue with the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU clearly demonstrates the willingness of all parties to move towards a suitable hosting agreement.

“From its outset, the bid has been one of the strongest we have seen. FISU has no doubt that Lake Placid would be a great host for the 2023 winter Universiade, making a lifelong impact on the thousands of student-athletes would come from all around the world.”

FISU and the Adirondack North Country Global Sports Committee, which submitted the bid for the event, have until June 15 to finalise a formal agreement. Once the deal is signed, work will begin on creating an official organising committee and planning for the event.

On FISU’s long-term hosting strategy for its winter and summer Universiades, Matytsin added: “Successful hosting does not end with the closing ceremony. We have to ensure the sustainability of our events by making sure they fit with the long-term development plans of the region.

“The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has shown with its Agenda 2020 that the bidding process can be most successful when it is conceived of as a genuine exchange between potential host and rights holder, with sustainability a real focus of this exchange. There are mutually beneficial gains to be achieved from such an approach. FISU is convinced that this is the right model for ensuring the hosting of major multi-sport events is based on firm foundations.”

The 2023 Universiade will mark the third time New York State has hosted, with Buffalo hosting in 1993. The Games have never been hosted by another state in the US. “Lake Placid is the perfect location to host this event, which will showcase the very best of New York and the North County to an international audience,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. 

“We are proud and fortunate to have both the natural and manmade resources required for the winter World University Games in our own backyard and we look forward to welcoming athletes from across the globe to experience all the Adirondacks has to offer.”

The winter Universiade is contested by university students from countries around the world. The most recent event was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2017. The 2019 and 2021 events are scheduled for Krasnoyarsk in Russia and Lucerne in Switzerland, respectively.