Lake Placid: The Core of New York’s Winter Sports Investment
This week over 1400 collegiate athletes are competing in Lake Placid for the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games. The site of two Winter Olympic competitions in 1932 and 1980 provided the perfect infrastructure for the international event. However, many of the competition sites and training areas needed drastic updating to be considered for such a high-profile winter sports event. In stepped the State of New York and the Lake Placid is shining with Gold Medals.
The World University Games were held in Lake Placid back in 1972, 8 years before the small North Country town hosted the Olympic Games in 1980. Bringing the games back to New York in 2023 went along with former Governor Andrew Cuomo's capital investment in the Lake Placid area, with possible hopes of seeing the Olympic torch return. The state legislature, according to David McKay Wilson of the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, allocated $83 million in tax dollars to running the 11-day event.
In the process of securing the bid for the games, New York invested $500 million in state-run winter sports venues, with more than $400 million dedicated to the Lake Placid area. Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin, whose father, Art, competed in the ski jump in the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Winter Olympic Games told David McKay Wilson, "Our sports venues are in the best shape they’ve ever been. It’s been daunting to see it get done.”
The state investments in the area have been important. According to Empire State Development spokeswoman Kristin DeVoe, “The Games internationally reinforce Lake Placid, the North Country and New York State as a sports capital of the world, now and well into the future.” FISU Winter World University Games run through Sunday and there are still tickets available to most of the events. You can go to lakeplacid2023.com for schedule of events and tickets.