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02 March 2022 | in FISU World University Championships

Lake Placid 2022 FISU World University Championship: fifty student athletes to skate on the tracks of Eric Heiden

Fifty student speed skaters from nine nations will compete at the Lake Placid 2022 FISU World University Championship starting today and try to emulate Eric Heiden – the five-time gold medallist at the 1980 Winter Olympics in the same village.  
 

It is the first time that this FISU event takes place outside Europe. Zakopane (Poland), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Baselga di Piné (Italy) Minsk (Belarus) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands) hosted the previous editions of the FISU World University Championship Speed Skating, held every other year since 2012.

 
In Lake Placid, competitors will benefit from renovated installations. The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) recently completed the modernization of the historic James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval.

 
“The work we’ve done at this iconic venue will vastly improve the experience for public skaters, developing athletes, and elite competitors. Everyone who skates at the Oval discovers their special place in the story of Lake Placid,” said ORDA President & CEO Mike Pratt.

 

"Sport is a unifying element of all cultures and countries. Worldwide, we can unfortunately only perform this function to a very limited extent at the moment. Let's not forget the people, including the students, who are in a terrible war in Ukraine. But let's also continue to think about the unifying power of sport," said Leonz Eder, FISU Acting President, at the opening ceremony.

 

The competition starts today with the women’s 1,000m and 3,000m and the men’s 1,000m and 5,000m races. It will end on 5 March with the mixed team sprint and mass start events held on the 400-meter outdoor track. The women’s and men’s 1,500m take place on 3 March and the 500m races, for both men and women, and team pursuits are scheduled for March 4.

 
“I really like the place, you can feel the excitement of winter sports,” said Fridtjof Petzold, a German skater whois expected to race in the men’s 5,000-meter; 1,500m and mass start events.


In the history of FISU World University Championship Speed Skating, Polish skaters have won more medals than any other nation, with 52. Russia is next, with 28, followed by the Netherlands with 27 championship medals.

 

Many of the athletes competing in this event will return to Lake Placid to be a part of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games.

 

The FISU Games, January 12-22, 2023, are expected to bring as many as 2,500 athletes and delegates from 50 nations and 600 universities to compete in speed skating and 11 other winter sports throughout the North Country region.

 
For more information about the Lake Placid 2022 FISU World University Championship Speed Skating event, visit www.wucspeedskating2022.com

 
Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram with @fisuspeedskating or using #fisuchampionship.

 

WRITTEN BY JON LUNDIN, EDITED BY OLIVIER VAN BOGAERT