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Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games identify ways to help save winter

Winter Games 5 November 2022

With the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Winter fast approaching with the opening ceremony on 12 January, thoughts of powdery snow, slick ice, and beautiful winter vistas immediately come to mind. However, such thoughts might be threatened in coming years as the risks of climate change potentially impact winter as we know it. Lake Placid organisers are therefore building into their planning new standards for environmental sustainability with Save Winter to better help ensure winter sports and activities can continue for years to come.

“Everyone who lives, plays and works in a winter community knows that our climate is warming and we’re going to lose winter if we don’t do something,” said Ashley Walden, executive director of the Adirondack Sports Council, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ Organizing Committee. “The Save Winter campaign will help students and people everywhere positively engage in this important, challenging work to reduce carbon and save winter.”

The FISU World Conference, to be held 13-15 January 2023, will explore this topic of with a theme of “Save Winter – the intersection of climate change and winter sports”. This conference will consider the topic from perspectives of science, innovation, and sport by discussing alternative energy, farming, forestry, food activism, the science of ice and snow, and diversity in the outdoors.

03 02 Aerial James C Sheffield Speed Skating OvalAdditionally, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games Organizing Committee has also focused on rebuilding and modernising the region’s existing facilities not only so athletes have outstanding venues in which to compete, but also so they meet improved sustainability standards. The operator of the majority of these venues, and a Host Partner for the FISU Games, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has focused on how to best upgrade venues that were used for the 1972 FISU Winter Universiade, as well as the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Examples of these upgrades include high efficiency snowmaking, hybrid snow groomers and electric Zambonis, LED technology, new cooling systems and industrial refrigeration improvements, salt use reduction, and solar arrays.

“Sustainability is infused naturally as part of our decision making. The culture of our staff and communities expects life cycle analysis of the infrastructure required for our operations. Together, with the initiatives to be implemented for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games, we look forward to helping to educate and be a resource for future host cities, and the winter sports industry, to take action to Save Winter,” Michael Pratt, ORDA president & CEO.

Visitors can experience how the region is playing a role in saving winter in just over two months. At that time, from 12-22 January 2023, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games will welcome over 1,500 athletes from more than 50 countries and 600 universities to compete in 12 sports and 86 medal events.

Written by Doug McLean