LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lake Placid will host the 2023 Winter World University Games, a winter sports competition for the best student athletes across the globe.
The last time the competition was held in the U.S. was also in Lake Placid back in 1972 and the summer version of the games were held in Buffalo in 1993.
In less than a year, the world’s best college athletes will gather in New York State to compete in the games.
Lake Placid won the bid to host next year’s competition back in 2018.
“350 million people will watch these games around the world so it’s quite the spotlight we will be putting on Lake Placid and the rest of the region,” said World University Games head of marketing sponsorship and communications, Chris Caroll.
Lake Placid already has a legacy as the host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics and the University Games back in 1972.
To host these games again, they had to remodel the facilities but they kept the history alive.
“We wanted to make certain we kept the legacy of the games of ’32 and the ’80 games here at the Olympic Center, but we also knew we needed to update not only for the safety of the venue itself and bringing everything up to current standard but also what was required for the University Games,” said Terry Buczkowski, general manager of the Olympic Center.
There are three ice surfaces at the Olympic Center, which can move from Olympic size down to NHL size, and an Olympic speed skating oval.
The re-model also includes a complete revitalization of Mount Van Hoevenberg, with a new lodge and one of the best snow-making systems in the country for Nordic skiing.
“When they hit Mount Van Hoevenberg, they’re gonna see this building and these facilities and they’re gonna just jump out of their skin because the amazing snow-making, said Paul Wylie, the Olympic Regional Development Authority director of sport. “This lodge is kind of breathtaking.”
One of the athletes attends college at Paul Smiths in the Adirondacks, where athletes from 600 universities across more than 50 countries will be staying next January.
He said he’s excited for the world to see what Lake Placid has to offer.
“It really makes it 21st century now and to have this really high-scale event will be really great to show this wasn’t a great thing in just the 80’s it’s a great thing now, its really the place to be.”
The renovations also give them the ability to host more events and they’ve got a full lineup this season.
But the pinnacle they’re all waiting for is inviting the world back to Lake Placid for the University Games next year.
“It’s not just the games. For many of who have been part of this, we view the World University Games as that coming-out party because the future beyond that is incredibly bright in so many ways,” said Kris Cheney Seymour, the Mount Van Hoevenberg sport and program coordinator.
They will also be re-opening the newly renovated Olympic museum at the end of this year.
It will have exhibits from the 1980’s Olympics as well as exhibits about the future of Lake Placid and what it means to be an Olympic athlete.