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16 August 2018 | in Hosting, Winter FISU World University Games

Lake Placid set to host 2023 Winter Universiade


History in the making as the two-time Winter Olympics host will now hold the Universiade for a second time



LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND — The Winter Universiade is set to return to the northern New York winter sports destination of Lake Placid in 2023.



The International University Sports Federation (FISU) completed the host city contract signing today in Lausanne after New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed an Executive Order officially authorizing Lake Placid and the surrounding North Country Region to host the 31st edition of the event from the New York State Capital.



The signing marks the second occasion that Lake Placid will host the international multi-sport spectacle for university athletes, after the edition in 1972. More than 3,000 student-athletes, delegates and officials representing 60 countries and 600 universities are expected to compete during an 11-day period in over 70 events. 



Known affectionately as ‘America’s first winter sports destination,’ Lake Placid has a longstanding and rich sporting history, having hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1932 and 1980, in addition to the Winter Universiade 1972. The State of New York also held the last Universiade on North American soil, with the 1993 edition of the summer games being held in Buffalo.



FISU President Oleg Matytsin was particularly enthused with the Universiade’s return to a previous event host.



“From its outset, the bid was one of the strongest we have seen,” FISU President Matytsin said. “For Lake Placid to go from Winter Universiade candidate to future host is a great moment for the international University Sports Movement. Today’s signing will have a lifelong impact on the thousands of student-athletes that will come to the Adirondack Region from all around the world.”

 Lake Placid's winning Winter Universiade candidature was boosted by the region's longstanding tradition of sports development excellence and historic venues like the long track speed skating oval just off the village's main street

Much like previous World Universiades, over 350 million worldwide broadcast viewers are expected to watch over 7,000 hours of coverage via TV and digital channels, helping keep university sport and New York State in the global spotlight. 



Nearly forty years have passed since Lake Placid last hosted a major international multi-sports event, but the Adirondack Region of upstate New York continues to be a world-class destination for sports recreation and competitions. Since 1980, Lake Placid has hosted 14 World Championships and more than 100 World Cup competitions. This year alone, the region will be hosting five world cup competitions as well as the Para-Bobsled World Championships.


A vintage file photo of downtown Lake Placid. This main corridor through the village will comprise the heart of village life for the athletes during the 31st Winter Universiade.  

During the signing, Governor Cuomo emphasised that hosting a marquee multi-sport event like the Winter Universiade is vital for the Adirondack Region’s to continue being a hub of sport — and a place that continues to attract top talent to its universities and communities.



"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 M. 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."



This message was one echoed by Delise O’Meally, Secretary General of the United States’ National University Sports Federation.

The Secretary General of the United States' National University Sports Federation, Delise O'Meally, signing the host city contract this week in Lake Placid 


“We are thrilled and excited at what this means for college sport in the United States and the entire Pan American region," Mrs. O’Meally said. “The Universiade presents a unique opportunity to showcase our passion for college sports, as we welcome the student athletes of the world back to New York State. The Lake Placid community was the last to host these Games in the United States almost 50 years ago. It is fitting that we should return to this picturesque site of historic winter sport achievement.” 



FISU President Matytsin said Lake Placid’s event legacy plan set their candidature apart.

 The K120 and K90 ski jumps are an iconic part of the Lake Placid skyline


“The successful hosting of a major sports event does not end with the event’s closing ceremony. Fortunately, Lake Placid is positioned well to take full advantage of this opportunity with their well thought-out, agile and strategic development plans for the region. I am excited to see these plans come to life as organisers cultivate communities in the lead-up to the 2023 Winter Universiade. I look to come back to the region and see the lasting benefits here long after the FISU flame is extinguished.”


The upcoming Winter Universiade will be held from 2-12 March 2019 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia and is expected to draw 2,500 participants from over 50 countries to the heart of Siberia. The 2021 Winter Universiade host is Lucerne, Switzerland.

The Lake Placid FISU and Olympic cauldron site was last used in 1980. The venue and organisers can now begin preparations in earnest again for the 31st edition of the Winter Universiade.