Governor Kathy Hochul made a trip to the North Country to tout a big event coming to Lake Placid at the start of the new year.
The FISU World University Games will bring thousands of athletes and spectators this January.
Hochul was at Mt. Van Hovenburg to discuss the games and all of the work that has been put in to make them possible. She talked about the history of international events in Lake Placid and how they can make these games the best ever.
“We’ve already invested over 400 million dollars in the past five years to modernize the ORDA facilities, they are spectacular. These facilities are world class, we know that, but wait until the world sees this, all these 2500 athletes, over 100,000 spectators”.
The University Games are held every two years and Lake Placid will host the winter edition. The games won’t just be a local affair, they will have a national audience.
“We’ve come to an agreement with ESPN to broadcast the games, come in person if you can, but this is going to be a massive platform to showcase the talent of these athletes all over.”
CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority Mike Pratt spoke just how rare upgrades like these are. “Once in a generation modernization on these Olympic venues for decades to come,” said Pratt.
Ashley Walden, Executive Director of the Lake Placid Games, talked about how these games are a full North Country event. “While this global and educational event is titled the Lake Placid World University Games, it spans three north country regions and 5 communities,” said Walden.
Events will take place in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington, Potsdam, and Canton. Pratt discussed the history behind the FISU Games in Lake Placid as well.
“The 1972 FISU World University Games were here in Lake Placid, which led us up to the 1980 Olympics”.
Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin hopes history repeats itself. “It is my hope that someday Governor Hochul will be back here announcing a further partnership with Lake Placid, when she announces a bid for a New York State Olympics.”
The event will run from January 12th through the 22nd with over 80 events taking place.
Overall, New York had invested over $500 million in the local Olympic facilities in order for Lake Placid to be able to host future international events.