March 01, 2023 | at the FISU Summer World University Games, the FISU Winter World University Games
While many recall memories of the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023, where the closing ceremony took place on Sunday, January 22, a group of six Germans analyze their memories for a special purpose: preparation for the upcoming FISU Games summer in Rhine-Ruhr in 2025 r.
As part of the Observer Program, six employees of the Rhine-Ruhr organizing committee came to Lake Placid to observe the winter version of the FISU Games. “Our main goal was simply to capture as much of Lake Placid as possible,” said Eliza Loeffler, Rhein-Ruhr 2025 Chief of Staff. For most of her team, herself included, Lake Placid was the first FISU event. “It was about breathing the whole event and gaining experience in organizing FISU Games,” she said.
“It was very rewarding and educational, we will definitely benefit from going to Lake Placid a lot,” commented Sina Diekmann, Sports Director. “We wanted to feel the atmosphere of the delegations, during the opening and medal ceremonies, as well as the atmosphere of the FISU event in general.”
Along with Loeffler and Diekmann, their team included the Rhine-Ruhr General Manager, Director of Operations. Their on-site tasks focused on keeping track of the local organizing committee, especially the counterparts to their specific roles in the Rhine-Ruhr region. “We also looked at roles that none of the six of us have to take home with useful information for our colleagues in Germany,” said Loeffler.
Not only Germany joined the Observer Programme. Also attending were Italy, the hosts of the 2025 FISU Winter Games, and North Carolina, which has just been officially confirmed as the organizers of the 2029 FISU Summer Games. “The local organizing committee basically walks you through all the functions and areas of the event,” Loeffler explains about the Observer program. “They talk about their preparations over the past two years and lay out the hard facts you need to know as the next FISU Games hosts.”
With regard to the Rhein-Ruhr region in particular, Diekmann sees some advantages in the geographic location of the event. “Rhine-Ruhr is a very densely populated area in Germany, which can be an advantage compared to Lake Placid,” she said. “But of course we will face other challenges instead. Rhein-Ruhr will be organized as a concept of 5 locations. Coordinating all these locations and the people working there requires a lot of communication and detailed planning. The goal is to finally combine these five locations into one big, joint event – FISU Games Summer.”
Lake Placid hosted the Save Winter Conference to place a special emphasis on sustainability, and the Rhein-Ruhr region will maintain that focus. “Sustainability should be a fundamental and obvious aspect for any event organization these days,” said Diekmann. “Therefore, we will not build any new facilities for the Rhine-Ruhr and will organize the event as a five-location concept.”
Recently, the team moved to a new headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. “We work much more efficiently and communication within our team is much more dynamic because we all work from one place,” says Diekmann. “We’re making big strides now, taking big steps week after week.”
Summarizing his experience at the Observer program and at the FISU Games at Lake Placid 2023, Loeffler said: “Lake Placid was definitely a good start to the new year, which showed us that we are heading in the right direction.”
The FISU Rhine-Ruhr World University Games 2025 will take place from July 16-27 and cover the entire Rhine-Ruhr region, including the cities of Bochum, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr.