LAKE PLACID — Gov. Kathy Hochul visited the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg on Friday to announce the schedule and start of ticket sales for the 2023 FISU World University Games, to showcase the new medal design for the event and to proclaim that ESPN will broadcast the Games.
The World University Games, which begin on Jan. 12, 2023, are less than six months away. Hochul announced that ticket sales for the Games will open on Sept. 1, and the official schedule for the Games is now available online at https://tinyurl.com/bd9h2zru. ESPN will televise the Games, and Hochul said the sports media outlet will be “a massive, massive platform to showcase the talent of these athletes all over.”
Hochul also showed off the finalized design for the medals that will be awarded to winning athletes at the Games next year. The sustainable design features a glass insert made from recycled glass that’s sourced from Potsdam.
Hochul said she came to Lake Placid when she was lieutenant governor to promote the idea that the village should be an upcoming site for the World University Games. She credited former state Sen. Betty Little, who is now a member of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors and who attended Friday’s event, with helping her to convince the Games’ selection committee to bring the Games here.
“We weren’t going to let them out of the room until they said yes,” Hochul said.
Next year’s Games will be the first ones held in the U.S. since 1993, when Buffalo hosted the event.
Hochul also talked about the potential economic impact the Games could have on the local business community. She said there’s more than $250 million in revenue projected for the local economy during the Games, but she thought even more than that could come in. She added that tourism during the Games could have a “ripple effect” on the local economy.
“When the people experience what they’re going to have when they come here, they’re going to want to come back. They’re going to bring their families back over and over again, so these (Games) will have a huge economic impact,” she said.
Hochul also touted the more than $500 million in state funding provided for upgrades to the local ORDA-managed sports venues, and she commended the “world-class” healthcare here — which she said she experienced firsthand after she broke her wrists and ribs in a 2015 Whiteface Mountain skiing adventure gone awry.
“This was my first year as lieutenant governor — I didn’t know it was so hazardous,” she said.
In her closing statements, Hochul quoted Olympic coach Herb Brooks’ famous words of encouragement to the U.S. Olympic hockey team before they faced off against the Soviet Union in the historic 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game — “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
“That’s exactly what you have in front of us,” Hochul said Friday. “Let’s seize this great moment, let’s put the spotlight on this magnificent part of our country, our state. (It’s) a huge point of pride for all of us, but particularly for me as a governor, who has fallen in love with this area over and over again.”
Local and state officials attended Friday’s event, and ORDA CEO Mike Pratt, village Mayor Art Devlin, Adirondack North Country Sports Council Executive Director Ashley Walden and ORDA board Chair Joe Martens delivered statements expressing their excitement and gratitude that next year’s Games will once again be held in Lake Placid. The Games were previously held in Lake Placid in 1972.