Russia and Belarus will not take part in Games 23 | News, Sports, Jobs

LAKE PLACID – Athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from participating in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games in response to the war in Ukraine.

FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond confirmed last week that Russian and Belarusian athletes will not participate in January’s Lake Placid Games, online sports media insidethegames reported on Sunday, but not because the countries are officially barred from participating in FISU- events were excluded. FISU has not yet decided whether or not it will ban these countries from FISU sporting events, Saintrond said. The FISU is now following the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee to exclude athletes from these countries from sporting events “Protective Measure”.

“We never banned the athletes” Saintrond told insidethegames after last week’s FISU Executive Committee meeting in Brussels. “We just agree that it’s better for them not to come to the event because it would cause some problems. That’s why we don’t have any Russians in Lake Placid.”

Saintrond told insidethegames that FISU hopes to make a decision on a Russia/Belarus ban sometime in February or March 2023. The 2023 World University Games in Lake Placid will take place in January.

Lake Placid 2023 communications director Jon Lundin said Thursday that banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from January’s competitions would have been necessary “No impact on the planning and preparation of the organizing committee” for the games – he said the organizing committee was aware of the unofficial ban “for some time.”

FISU first decided last March to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitions after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. According to The Associated Press, Russian troops used Belarusian territory to invade Ukraine early in the war, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has publicly defended Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past.

Local officials attend FISU meetings

Local officials – including Ashley Walden, executive director of Lake Placid 2023, Jim McKenna, CEO of the regional office for sustainable tourism, and Joe Martens, recently appointed chief executive officer of the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority – also attended the FISU Executive Committee meeting in Brussels part. At the meeting, officials reported that preparations for Games 23 were underway, according to insidethegames “making very good progress” and highlighted some of the investments made in ski resorts in Lake Placid and ORDA-managed facilities in North Creek and Belleayre. Martens told insidethegames that the state has invested a total of $400 million in ORDA facilities ahead of the Games, but Gov. Kathy Hochul put that total at $550 million in a press release Thursday.

Insidethegames also paraphrased McKenna that the games organizers benefited from $300 million “Private Investments”, mainly towards the modernization of restaurants. McKenna clarified Thursday that he had told Insidethegames that the entire region, not the Games organizers themselves, is benefiting from nearly $300 million in private investment in hotel improvements, housing projects and other improvements around the village of Lake Placid have.

McKenna, for example, estimated that Lake Placid developer Joe Barile invested around $120 million in his Peaks at Lake Placid condominium complex — originally intended to house 23 athletes during the Games — and that the developers spent around $40 million on the rebuild had invested in the old Quality Inn on Saranac Avenue. Neither the Peaks at Lake Placid nor the rebuilding of the Quality Inn are expected to be completed by Games 23.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *