World University Games cauldron to be in Brewster Park

Village employees, from left, Cooper Grady and Jamie Coolidge install granite bricks in the center of Brewster Park at the corner of Main Street and Saranac Avenue, where the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games cauldron will be placed and unveiled on Dec. 12. (News photo — Lauren Yates)

LAKE PLACID — Lake Placid village employees were seen breaking ground in the center of Brewster Park on Tuesday, Nov. 29. But they weren’t reviving the recently finished Main Street construction project — they were preparing the park for the placement of the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games cauldron.

The 10-foot-tall cauldron will be unveiled at 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, exactly 30 days away from the opening ceremony for the Games. However, the cauldron won’t be lit up for the first time until the opening ceremony on Jan. 12. The unveiling will only show off the cauldron’s unique design, according to Karlan Jessen, the head of sustainability and legacy for the 2023 Games.

Jessen said the Games’ organizing committee thought about keeping the cauldron under wraps until the opening ceremony, but ultimately decided to show off the structure ahead of the Games and during the holiday season. The unveiling will come the day after the end of the village’s annual Holiday Village Stroll, which will be held from Dec. 9 to 11.

“It’s a chance for people to see it and get excited for the Games,” Jessen said.

The cauldron won’t just be used for the Games, according to Jessen. She said that the Adirondack Sports Council, which will assume responsibility for the cauldron after the Games, anticipates “legacy use” for the cauldron. For example, it could go on to be used for the Empire State Winter Games and other events, Jessen said, adding that the cauldron is “somewhat portable,” so it could be moved around the village when needed. Jessen doesn’t expect that the cauldron will remain in Brewster Park long-term, but she said the council hasn’t landed on a home base for it yet.

Along with the FISU sports legacy, the cauldron represents the 2023 Games’ “Save Winter” theme, intended to promote sustainability in the face of a warming climate and shrinking snow seasons. The cauldron will be completely fuel-free because it’s built with an LED flame, which Jessen said will be powered by an 8-foot-tall wind turbine engineered by Ducted Wind Turbines and designed by Clarkson University students.

“It will be the first cauldron of its kind that’s carbon-free,” she said.

The cauldron was designed by Adirondack Studios, which also designed the tiered podium for the 1980 Winter Olympics.

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