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FISU Games end with closing ceremony, street party | News, Sports

Far left, Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin waves the FISU flag at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena during the closing ceremony of the 2023 FISU World University Games on Sunday, Jan 22. (Photo by Bond Demetri Photos/FISU Games).

LAKE PLACID — After 11 days and 85 medal events, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games officially ended Sunday, Jan. 22, with the traditional closing ceremony, held in the Olympic Center’s 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

The enthusiastic group of spectators, along with FISU delegates with local and state representatives, helped wave goodbye to the 1,443 collegiate-athletes, from 45 countries (plus Hong Kong, China), representing more than 540 universities, who participated in the 12 winter sports that made up the games.

“There can be no doubt: Lake Placid is the place of legends for winter sports. We are reminded of this, just walking into this building and seeing the reminders of the ‘Miracle on Ice.’ We knew this was and is a very special place. And we had the privilege to be part of it,” said FISU acting president Leonz Eder. “Here, in winter, Lake Placid has brought unprecedented warmth to our Games. In a complicated world, full of conflict, this wonderful community has offered us an open heart. Let us not underestimate how lucky we are to have been able to enjoy these 11 days of joyous and peaceful celebration in sport.”

In all, 516 athletes are heading home with medals draped around their necks, and some proudly showcased them to the television camera during the ceremony.

James McKenna, chairman to the Adirondack Sports Council, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Organizing Committee, added, “New York state has shown to the world that international sporting events have the power to unite peoples and nations. Records were broken and friendships were made as the entire world watched. To all residents and businesses of Lake Placid and New York’s North Country for showing the world what wonderful hosts we are. It is impossible to relate all the comments and stories about the friendliness of our local communities and their willingness to help that have been shared.”

Stefano Lo Russo, the mayor for Torino, Italy, the host of the 2025 FISU World University Games, waves the FISU flag at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena during the closing ceremony of the 2023 FISU World University Games on Sunday, Jan 22. (Provided photo — FISU Games)
Robert J. Rodriguez, New York secretary of state, said “The 11-day competition brought hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators to New York state shining a global spotlight on everything the north country has to offer. Our newly renovated world-class Olympic complexes provided athletes with exceptional state-of-the-art facilities to compete while visitors from all over the world were introduced to an iconic tourist destination.

“New York state is proud to have hosted the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid and the surrounding areas because no one does winter better than New York state.”
As part of the closing ceremony, Eder transferred the FISU Flag to Stefano Lo Russo, the mayor for Torino, Italy, the host of the 2025 FISU Winter World University Games, and Lorenzo Lentini, Italian University Sport Center delegate.

The 31st winter edition of the FISU World University Games marked just the second time the multi-sport and educational festival ventured outside Europe or Asia. The only other time was in 1972, when Lake Placid hosted the seventh edition.

Events were contested throughout the Adirondack North Country region. In addition to Lake Placid, competition took place in Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.

Prior to the closing ceremony, organizers held one last medal event, the men’s ice hockey gold medal game. Canada defeated the United States, 7-2, to claim the gold medal.

This was the United States’ first men’s ice hockey medal since 1972, when it won bronze. Kazakhstan came away with the men’s ice hockey bronze medal, overcoming Japan, 8-1 on Sunday.

Team Japan finished first in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU games’ overall medal count with 48 medals (21 gold, 17 silver and 10 bronze). Japanese men won 12 gold medals, seven silver and six bronze, while the women combined to claim seven gold, eight silver and three bronze. The mixed teams came away with two gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

Republic of Korea finished second overall with 29 medals (12 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze), while France claimed 18 medals (5 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze) and was third.

The U.S. squad, who did not medal in 2019, enjoyed its best-ever FISU Games with 17 medals. The three gold, eight silver and six bronze medals, allowed the U.S. squad to finish fourth overall, tied with Poland, and surpass its previous best of 15 medals won, set in 1993.

Niklas Malacinski led the 150-member team with four medals won. He claimed bronze in the mixed team Nordic combined normal hill/2×2.5km and came away with silver medals in both the men’s Nordic combined mass start (10km/normal hill) and men’s Nordic combined

Individual Gundersen (normal hill/10km). He and Evan Nichols also combined to win gold in the men’s Nordic combined team sprint. Nichols also won the bronze medal in the men’s Nordic combined Individual Mass Start 10km/normal hill competition.

The U.S. squad won the men’s curling silver medal and the women’s bronze medal. Bjorn Westervelt claimed the men’s biathlon 12.5km pursuit gold medal and he also raced to the silver medal in the 10km sprint. John Steel Hagenbuch won two cross-country skiing medals, gold in the 30km mass start free and bronze in the 10km pursuit free.

The night ended with a party on Main Street, as many spectators and athletes attending the closing ceremony walked down to Mid’s Park for activities in the FISU Festival Village. Most of Main Street was closed off to vehicular traffic during the day starting on Jan. 12, opening day, and was reopened Monday morning, Jan. 23.

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Where Tech Talent Goes To Thrive

here is a worldwide shortage of digital skills. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, demand for technological skillsets is rising by as much as 50%. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of today’s workers don’t feel equipped to learn the digital skills needed by businesses.

The most acute shortage is in advanced skills like programming, especially for new technologies like AI and blockchain.

This demand gives skilled tech workers, entrepreneurs, and leaders the pick of where to base themselves. As cities and nations compete to attract tech talent, what makes these prized individuals choose one place over another?.

Initial Attraction
In a survey of ‘tech migrants’, Boston Consulting Group identified a mixture of short-, medium-, and long-term levers businesses and cities could use to attract talent.

The initial attraction is often brute economics: higher pay and lower taxes. That’s certainly what brings people to Dubai, says Vladimir Vrzhovski, Tech and Digital Lead at Mercer: “Dubai pays about 30% higher than most of the mature tech hubs around Europe and Asia.” It also has a lower cost of living, especially when its 0% income tax is taken into account.

Businesses operating in the city’s free zones – like the tech-focused Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub – also benefit from 0% corporation tax. BCG credits the incentive with bringing big names like Amazon, Google, and Oracle to the emirate.

It is an echo of London’s rise to tech prominence, offering tax relief on tech investments via its Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to funnel the city’s vast pools of finance towards digital businesses.

The presence of blue-chip names affords another major draw for tech talent: opportunities.

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Adding exercise into treatment may reduce substance use, study shows

One key to fighting addiction may be exercise, according to a new study.

Researchers undertook a review of the existing literature around physical activity and its relationship to substance use, and they found that regular exercise was associated with lowered use in about 75% of the studies investigating that question, according to the analysis.

The review, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at 43 studies with more than 3,000 total participants. In addition to a reduction or cessation in substance use, the studies also found improved markers of physical health and decreased depressive symptoms, the study said.

“People think that during treatment people should only do psychotherapeutic treatments … but that’s not what we’ve seen in our study,” said lead study author Florence Piché, a doctoral student and researcher at Université de Montréal in Canada. “It’s very beneficial to do physical activity in addition to the treatments.”

There are limitations to the findings. The review found that most of the studies the researchers examined had a high risk of bias, meaning more research is needed to confirm their findings, said Dr. Aaron Kandola, research fellow at Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London.

The studies were also not directly comparable enough to build a comprehensive and generalizable understanding of the relationship, Kandola said in an email. Kandola was not part of the research.

However, the findings were still significant and useful, he added.

“Substance use disorders are a major public health problem lacking low-cost, evidence-based solutions,” he said, adding that substance use disorders are worsening in many high-income countries — including the United States.

Finding more accessible solutions to this disorder is especially important because it often occurs with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, which disproportionately affect people with fewer socioeconomic resources and areas with higher deprivation, he said.

Physical activity may be a useful and accessible part of a treatment plan for substance use disorder, said Dr. Mark Smith, professor of psychology at Davidson College in North Carolina. Smith was not part of the research.

“I think there’s now a sufficient amount of data to indicate that various forms of physical activity and exercise are generally effective at reducing substance use in individuals seeking treatment,” he said.

What exercise does
Most people can benefit from engaging in physical activity, Kandola said.

One benefit the studies found is improvements in physical health such as cardiovascular endurance or muscle strength, Smith said. And although that may not be the primary goal of the research, he said this finding is important because it shows the physical activity is doing its job to promote physical health.

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Blood sugar drug tirzepatide also leads to substantial weight loss in diabetes patients, Eli Lilly says

There’s more evidence that the injectable drug tirzepatide helps people with diabetes lose weight as well as control their blood sugar, according to the drug’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company.

In a new study, more than 900 adults with obesity and diabetes took the drug for a year and five months, and those on the highest dose lost an average of 34 pounds, or nearly 16% of their starting weight. It also helped people reduce their blood sugar, the company said in a news release. The data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.

“We have not hit 15% in any other phase three trial for weight management in this type two diabetes population,” said Dr. Nadia Ahmad, an associate vice president at Eli Lilly and medical director of obesity clinical development for the company.

Ahmad said the company was pleased with these results, given how hard it is for people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight.

Tirzepatide is currently sold as Mounjaro and approved to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.

Lilly says it will use the new study, along with results from an earlier study of weight loss in people without diabetes, to ask the US Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approval for tirzepatide purely for weight loss, which would make it a direct competitor to the blockbuster obesity drug Wegovy.

Plenty of people aren’t waiting for the FDA’s nod.

“I am aware of and I’ve heard, you know, it being sort of used off label for weight loss and individuals who do not have diabetes,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, medical director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Gudzune was not involved in the tirzepatide study.

Gudzune points out that once a drug is FDA approved it can be prescribed for any reason a doctor sees as medically necessary.

Tirzepatide, along with several similar types of drugs taken for diabetes, went into shortage last year as success stories posted on social media fueled runaway demand for their weight loss benefits. The shortages made the medications difficult for patients with diabetes to get.

Tirzepatide works by mimicking the action of two different gut hormones. When blood sugar rises after eating, the drug stimulates the body to produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar. It also slows down the movement of food from the stomach, making people feel fuller for longer. In clinical trials, people who took tirzepatide experienced more nausea, vomiting and diarrhea compared with those who took a placebo injection.

Semaglutide, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, has also been approved as a weight loss medication for overweight adults with at least one associated health problem since 2021. When prescribed for weight loss, it is sold under the brand name Wegovy. When prescribed for diabetes, the injection is sold under the brand name Ozempic.

High demand, coupled with manufacturing problems, threw Wegovy into shortage for much of the last year. That shortage then rippled into shortages for diabetes patients as doctors began prescribing other diabetes medications off-label for weight loss.

There has already been a lot of buzz about tirzepatide’s potential as an obesity medication. In a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, people who were overweight or obese, but did not have diabetes, lost an average of 52 pounds on the highest dose of the drug, or more than 20% of their starting weight.

“In the last year has been really exciting just to have more tools in the toolbox, so to speak. And tools that, you know, we’re seeing really achieving outcomes that patients for the longest time have been hoping to achieve,” Gudzune said.

If those results hold up in the real world, that would make it the most potent of the injectable weight loss medications.

Indeed, this week Lilly aims to begin a study that will test Mounjaro against Wegovy head-to-head in 700 participants at 61 sites in the United States and Canada, according to The study will conclude in February 2025.

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