Adirondack Daily Enterprise
PARKER O’BRIEN / Sports Editor
LAKE PLACID — Representatives from several of the countries participating in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games attended an in-person Head of Delegations meeting at the Conference Center in Lake Placid on Monday.
The delegates represent athletes from their respective countries that are competing at the Games. They traveled from all over the world to see how their athletes will have to prepare for the upcoming Games.
The visit, which was one week long, provided delegates the opportunity to meet with the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games Organizing Committee and tour the venues where the collegiate athletes will compete, live and train.
Among the topics that members of the organizing committee discussed included where athletes and delegates will be housed, transportation to and from venues, and COVID-19 policies.
During the games, athletes and delegates will be housed in three separate villages, one in Lake Placid (the “Central Region”), Potsdam (“Village West”) and Queensbury (“Village South”).
The athletes will be put into hotels or dormitories based on their sport. Paul Smith’s College will host athletes in the sports of biathlon, cross country skiing, curling, Nordic combined and ski jumping. The Golden Arrow in Lake Placid will be the home of figure skating, short track speedskating and ice hockey for the semifinals and finals only. Northwood School will house alpine skiers, while the Hampton Inn in Lake Placid will be the home of speedskating.
In Potsdam, both men’s and women’s ice hockey players will be housed at SUNY Potsdam’s Knowles Hall. Hockey games, prior to the semifinal and final game, will be played at the Cheel Arena at Clarkson University, Roos House at SUNY Canton and Maxcy Hall at SUNY Potsdam.
Freestyle and freeski competitors, as well as, snowboarders, will compete at Gore Mountain in North Creek and will be housed at the Great Escape Lodge in Queensbury.
The Lake Placid Inn, Art Devlin’s Olympic Motor Inn and the Best Western Inn, all of which are in Lake Placid, will be used to house delegates. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center will have some beds allocated for U.S. athletes only. The facility will be shared with U.S. athletes not competing in the FISU Games as well.
Head of Transportation Tony Vitrano said the combined experience of his crew includes six Summer Olympic Games, six winter Games, the past 25 Super Bowls and the collegiate national championship for the past nine years.
Among Vitrano’s crew includes Mark Pyskadlo, who is the deputy head of transport, and has had 30 years of experience with the regional Department of Transportation.
“He knows what he is doing, he knows what to do,” Vitrano said during the meeting. “In case and point there was some construction that was going to take place on Route 86 during your visit here. It is going to take place next week now. So Mark knows what he is doing.”
While buses will be available, delegates will be allowed to drive vehicles. Delegates will be able to put in a request through a Lake Placid 2023 transport app — coming in the near future — to drive or have volunteers drive them to venues.
Delegates who will drive a vehicle are required to be 21 or older and possess an international driver’s license in alphanumeric format.
The Organizing Committee is still finalizing some of the service states and even the number of vehicles, it was noted that the delegates will use the transport app for information and navigational assistance.
Athletes and delegates who aren’t citizens of the U.S. will be required to be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S. Boosters will not but required, but are recommended.
Head of Doping Services and Medical Control Tracey Viola said that while there is not a requirement in place for the athletes to be tested prior to the games, that could change before Games’ time.
Athletes and delegates will not be required to quarantine upon arrival unless they are experiencing symptoms, according to Viola. If someone does test positive the quarantine period will be six days.
Apart from COVID-19, Viola said the medical team is currently watching both monkeypox and polio. Both were recently declared a public health emergency. Viola said that both have low numbers of total cases in New York state.
However, if someone did test positive for monkeypox the quarantine would be about 28 days. Viola said that number was subject to change depending 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 the safety of the athletes.