Sliding Into New Roles with Lake Placid 2023

Bobsled, luge and skeleton are not a part of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, but former staff from the two Lake Placid based National Governing Bodies, USA Bobsled and Skeleton (USABS) and USA Luge, provide their winter sports backgrounds and experiences to the event’s organizing committee.

Prior to becoming the organizing committee’s Chief Operating Officer, Ashley Walden spent a combined 23 years with USA Luge and USABS. Sixteen of those years were as a member of USA Luge’s national team, where she slid in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Following her sliding career, Walden joined USABS becoming the association’s Director of Sport and served as the team’s Team Leader for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Ron Rossi was involved in the Olympic movement for more than 40 years, 30 of which were tied to the sport of luge before becoming the Lake Placid 2023’s Director of Administration & Planning. He oversees the Games’ planning and coordination. As a luge athlete, he slid to a ninth-place finish in the 1984 Olympic doubles luge competition and as USA Luge’s President/CEO, he guided the organization to its first five Olympic medals.

Claire DelNegro has had the unique opportunity to be the CEO of both USA Luge and USABS.  In August, she became the organizing committee’s Director of Games Operations and is responsible for its security, transportation, logistics, food and beverage, protocol and FISU relations. DelNegro also remains involved in luge and is currently serving as Vice President of Sport for the International Luge Federation and as its Delegate for next year’s winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. 

Fred Zimny brings more than 30 years of luge coaching and administration to his role of Manager of Sports Services for Lake Placid 2023. The one-time United States Olympic and Paralympic Coach of the Year assists with all aspects related to each of the University Games’ venues to include equipment, staffing and scheduling.

Finally, Jon Lundin joined the organizing committee as its Head of Communications and Media. He spent almost nine years as USA Luge’s Media and Public Relations Coordinator and was the team’s Chief of Press for two Olympic Winter Games. Afterwards, he served almost 11 years as the Director of Communications for the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).

Next January 12-22, 2023, Lake Placid and the surrounding North Country region will embark on hosting the 31st edition. The global cultural exchange and multi-winter sports event will bring together more than 2,500 collegiate-athletes and coaches from 600 universities and over 50 countries competing in 12 sports and 86 events. The FISU World University Games Winter is the single largest international winter multi-sport event for collegiate athletes.

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