Alfred University students and faculty took the day Thursday as an opportunity to showcase their involvement in the design of the podium medals for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. The 11-day, multi-winter sports competition and educational festival being held in Lake Placid, N.Y. and the surrounding Adirondack region is set for January 11-22, 2023.

“The Organizing Committee is thrilled to partner with Alfred University and our design collaborators in showcasing an exceptional set of medals for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games,” said Ashley Walden, Adirondack Sports Council executive director, the Games’ Organizing Committee. “These one-of-a-kind medals, embody not only the spirit of the Games, but also the ethos of New York State as a leader in sustainability, expression and innovation worldwide.”

In all, more than 250 gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top-three collegiate athletes competing in the 12 winter sports and 86 events that make up the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games. The dimensional ice-inspired form, designed by Sidekick Creative, a graphic design agency based in Glens Falls, N.Y., departs from the traditional circular medal shape, creating a memorable impression and immediately conveying a wintry theme. The asymmetrical, multi-faceted surface reflects the look and feel of the brand, while also embodying the inclusive and welcoming spirit of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games. The centerpiece of the medal features an inlaid phosphorescent recycled glass disc, engineered and produced in New York State in partnership with Alfred University, leveraging the state’s history of innovative glass technology.

“Alfred University is proud and honored to provide our wealth of expertise to this important sustainable effort,” said Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University. “Our staff of glass science and engineering professors and researchers are world-renowned for their work in this field and working together with our students they have delivered a fascinating and beautiful product that will make New York State stand out among hosts of international sporting events.”

Designed with an angular take on the traditional circular medal, its imagery evokes a roughly hewn block of ice, while the sharply cornered edge resembles an Adirondack mountain ridge. At the core of each medal is a recycled glass disc infused with copper oxide to deliver an icy blue hue. The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ logo is engraved upon the glass insert which features rare earth elements europium oxide, dysprosium oxide and samarium oxide, giving it a luminescent orange, red and yellow glow when exposed to ultraviolet light.

“Collaboration and discovery alongside engineering students at Alfred University has long been the highlight of my career as an educator,” said Bill LaCourse, professor of Glass Science at the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University. “Knowing that our work together will be featured in such a prominent way, celebrating the achievements of university athletes from across the globe, gives me great pride and only adds to the legacy and renown of Alfred University and the New York State College of Ceramics.”

Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ officials similarly lauded the efforts of the students, researchers and designers of the medals.

“Since winning the bid to host the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, our mission has been to serve as a beacon for the world in modeling sustainable, environment-forward event management,” said Karlan Jessen, head of sustainability and legacy for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games. “This medal furthers our initiative by not only drawing upon the grandeur of New York State’s natural resources, but also demonstrates that responsible recycling practices can result in something beautiful and groundbreaking for society.”

About the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games:
The FISU World University Games is the largest winter multi-sport collegiate athletic event in the world. University students between the ages of 17 and 25 are eligible to enter. In 2018, Lake Placid was selected to host the 2023 FISU World University Games Winter. New York State is proud to be hosting these Games and looks forward to showcasing New York and the North Country to an international audience.

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