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Employees at Rochester Rehabilitation Center, on Friday, began carefully packaging the first delivery of an expected 700 New York-made podium medals, marking the final step in preparing these signature awards for the January 12-22 Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games.

The partnership with Rochester Rehabilitation Center and Flour City Craft Company also of Rochester, the designer and creator of the custom-made wooden boxes, was sought out by the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ Organizing Committee to further ensure that New York quality is showcased to the world during the 11-day multi winter sports and educational festival.

“The Organizing Committee is deeply honored to work with top partners all over New York State and especially with our friends at Rochester Rehabilitation Center and Flour City Craft Company,” said Ashley Walden, Adirondack Sports Council Executive Director, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ Organising Committee. “The quality and craftsmanship represent the best that New York has to offer. The boxes will keep the medals safe on their journey home and for years to come.”

The FISU World University Games is the world’s largest multisport winter collegiate competition. The biennial Games, less than three months away, is expected to draw an expected 1,500 collegiate-athletes, ages 17-25, from more than 50 countries and 600 universities to compete in 12 sports and 86 medal events. In addition to Lake Placid, events will also be held throughout New York’s Adirondack region, including Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.

Designed by Sidekick Creative, a graphic design agency based in Glens Falls, N.Y., the one-of-a-kind medal features a dimensional ice-inspired form, and 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 medallion, engineered and produced in New York state in partnership with Alfred University, leveraging the state’s history of innovative glass technology. Each medallion is 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.

“The opportunity to play a critical role in the supply chain for these beautiful medals is unique and exciting for our team at Rochester Rehabilitation,” said Rochester Rehabilitation Center president and CEO Mary Boatfield. “Since our founding, the focus of Rochester Rehabilitation has been providing our workforce with inclusive opportunities in work, wellness and independence. I can’t imagine a better way to achieve all three than by empowering our employees with and without disabilities to send these podium medals to their final destination in Lake Placid – where they will be used to reward some of the highest possible levels of human achievement in sport.”

“Our workshop is thrilled to play a role in presenting these one-of-a-kind medals to athletes at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games,” said Alex Elkins, Flour City Craft Company co-founder. “The boxes are made out of red oak which was regionally sourced and provided by Orleans Millworks. Many hours of design, fabrication and finishing have gone into these boxes to make them special for the athletes that are coming to our state from around the world.”

Once packaging is completed, the medals will be transported to the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ Organizing Committee headquarters before being awarded to the Games’ top athletes and teams in each of 12 winter sports.