November 04, 2022 | at the FISU Winter University Games
With the Winter of the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid fast approaching, along with the opening ceremony on January 12, thoughts of powdery snow, slippery ice and beautiful winter views immediately come to mind. However, such thoughts may be at risk in the coming years as the risk of climate change could potentially affect winter as we know it. As such, Lake Placid organizers are embracing new environmental sustainability standards with Save Winter in their plans to better ensure the continuation of winter sports and activities in the years to come.
“Anyone who lives, plays and works in a winter community knows that our climate is getting warmer and if we don’t do something, we will lose winter,” said Ashley Walden, executive director of the Adirondack Sports Council, Lake Placid Organizing Committee of the FISU World University Games 2023. “The Save Winter campaign will help students and people around the world positively engage in this important, challenging work to reduce carbon emissions and save winter.”
The FISU World Conference, January 13-15, 2023, will explore this topic under the theme “Save Winter – The Crossroads of Climate Change and Winter Sports”. This conference will consider the topic from the perspective of science, innovation and sport, discussing alternative energy sources, agriculture, forestry, food activism, ice and snow science, and outdoor diversity.
In addition, the FISU Games Lake Placid 2023 Organizing Committee also focused on rebuilding and upgrading existing facilities in the region, not only to ensure that athletes have excellent venues to compete, but also to meet improved sustainability standards. The operator of most of these venues and the host partner of the FISU Games, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) focused on how best to upgrade the facilities that were used at the 1972 FISU Winter Universiade as well as the 1932 Winter Olympics and 1980. Examples of these improvements include high-performance snowmaking, Zamboni hybrid and electric snow groomers, LED technology, new cooling systems and improvements in industrial refrigeration, salt reduction, and solar panels.
“Sustainability is naturally introduced as part of our decision-making process. The culture of our employees and communities requires a lifecycle analysis of the infrastructure required for our operations. Together with the initiatives to be implemented as part of the FISU Lake Placid 2023 Games, we look forward to helping educate and be a resource for future host cities and the winter sports industry to take action to save winter,” Michael Pratt, ORDA President and CEO.
Visitors can see how the region plays a role in saving money in just over two months. During this time, from January 12-22, 2023, the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023 will feature over 1,500 athletes from over 50 countries and 600 universities who will compete in 12 sports and 86 medal events.