By Geoff Berkeley
Lillehammer Mayor Ingunn Trosholmen believes the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter World University Games is the “perfect size” for the Norwegian resort which is aiming to host the 2027 edition.
Trosholmen led a Lillehammer delegation to the United States last month to see the staging of this year’s FISU Games in Lake Placid.
She was joined by Lillehammer’s municipal director Tord Buer Olsen and advisor for future events Eiliv Furuli as they visited venues and held talks with FISU officials over the possibility of hosting the flagship event in four years’ time.
“It was a pleasure for me to visit the World University Games for the first time,” Trosholmen told insidethegames.
“We learned that the Games is important for young athletes and that the combination of sports and studies is valuable for them.
“The Lillehammer region is always looking for events to host.
“We are a winter-sport destination and these Games will fit our profile perfectly – young university athletes and winter sport.
“It’s the perfect size and programme.”
FISU has tied down hosts for the next four editions of its Summer Games, with North Carolina in the US awarded the 2029 event at last month’s Executive Committee meeting in Lake Placid.
Winter hosts, however, have yet to be finalised beyond Turin 2025, but FISU Acting President Leonz Eder is hopeful that a solution can be found soon.
Quebec in Canada and Erzurum in Turkey have also been mooted as possible candidates for the 2027 edition, while Eder recently expressed his wish for Japan or South Korea to bid for the Winter World University Games.
Trosholmen stressed Lillehammer’s desire to stage major events again having held the 1994 Winter Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
“We are always aiming to host big events in our region,” said Trosholmen.
“It is part of our DNA as a winter-sport destination.”
Asked whether Lillehammer would be interested in being part of a Norwegian bid for a future edition of the Winter Olympics, Trosholmen added: “I always reply the same to this question.
“Lillehammer is ready when the sport federations and politicians are ready.
“To fulfil the goals of sustainability for a future Olympic Games in Norway, I think Lillehammer must be a part of a solution, given that we have the arenas that we can re-use.
“That will keep the costs down and show that we have taken care of the legacy from 1994 and 2016.”