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LAKE PLACID — Representatives from several countries participating in the FISU World University Games Lake Placid 2023 attended an in-person Heads of Delegation meeting at the Lake Placid Conference Center on Monday.
The delegates represent the athletes from their respective countries participating in the Games. They have come from all over the world to see how their athletes will have to prepare for the next Games.
The week-long visit allowed delegates to meet with the 2023 Lake Placid FISU Games Organizing Committee and tour the sites where collegiate athletes will compete, live and train.
Among the topics that members of the organizing committee discussed were where athletes and delegates will be accommodated, transportation to and from venues, and COVID-19 policies.
During the games, athletes and delegates will be accommodated in three separate villages, one in Lake Placid (the “Central Region”), Potsdam (“West Village”) and Queensbury (“South Village”).
Athletes will be placed in hotels or dormitories depending on their sport. Paul Smith College will host biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, Nordic combined and ski jumping athletes. La Fleche d’Or in Lake Placid will host figure skating, short track speed skating and ice hockey for semi-finals and finals only. The Northwood School will host downhill skiers, while the Hampton Inn in Lake Placid will host speed skating.
In Potsdam, male and female ice hockey players will be housed in Knowles Hall at SUNY Potsdam. The hockey games, prior to the semifinals and finals, will be played at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena, SUNY Canton’s Roos House and SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall.
Freestyle and freeski competitors, as well as snowboarders, will compete at Gore Mountain in North Creek and will be accommodated at the Great Escape Lodge in Queensbury.
The Lake Placid Inn, Art Devlin’s Olympic Motor Inn and the Best Western Inn, all located in Lake Placid, will be used to accommodate delegates. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center will have a few beds reserved for American athletes. The facility will also be shared with US athletes who will not be competing at the FISU Games.
Transportation chief Tony Vitrano said his crew’s combined experience includes six Summer Olympics, six Winter Games, the last 25 Super Bowls and the collegiate national championship over the past nine years.
Vitrano’s team includes Mark Pyskadlo, who is the Deputy Chief of Transport and has 30 years of experience with the regional Department of Transport.
“He knows what he’s doing, he knows what to do” Vitrano said during the meeting. “In case there’s any construction on Route 86 when you visit here. It’s next week now. So Mark knows what he’s doing.
While buses are available, delegates will be allowed to drive vehicles. Delegates will be able to apply through a Lake Placid 2023 transportation app — coming in the near future — to drive or have volunteers drive to venues.
Delegates who will be driving a vehicle must be at least 21 years old and have an international driving license in alphanumeric format.
The organizing committee is still finalizing some service records and even the number of vehicles, it was noted that delegates will be using the transport app for information and navigation assistance.
Athletes and delegates who are not citizens of the United States will need to be fully vaccinated to enter the United States. Reminders will not be mandatory, but recommended.
Head of Anti-Doping Services and Medical Control Tracey Viola said while there is no requirement in place for athletes to be tested before the Games, that could change before the Games.
Athletes and delegates will not be required to self-quarantine upon arrival unless they show symptoms, according to Viola. If someone tests positive, the quarantine period will be six days.
Besides COVID-19, Viola said the medical team is currently monitoring both monkeypox and poliomyelitis. Both were recently declared a public health emergency. Viola said both have low total case counts in New York state.
However, if someone tested positive for monkeypox, the quarantine would be around 28 days. Viola said that number was subject to change based on individual cases.
While the FISU Games will allow countries to have their own medical team, the FISU Games will provide their own team at each competition and venue to ensure athlete safety.