2023 FISU World University Games unveil mascot with Niskayuna curling event

FISU Games mascot Adirondack Mac curls at the Schenectady Curling Club in Niskayuna with help from Marek Rzonca, left, and Club President Dion Warr Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

FISU Games mascot Adirondack Mac curls at the Schenectady Curling Club in Niskayuna with help from Marek Rzonca, left, and Club President Dion Warr Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

I stepped my right foot back against the starting block, placed my left foot on the slider, kneeled down grabbing hold of the bar to my left to steady myself and the curling stone to my right and pushed off into a deep lunge. 

Or so I thought. 

Just as I let go of the stone I tumbled to the side hitting the ice. 

It looks so much easier on TV. 

Spectrum Anchor Casey Bortnick and CBS6 Sports Director Chet Davis spent an hour Wednesday afternoon at the Schenectady County Curling Club practicing a couple rounds before taking on Adirondack Mac.

The event was part of the unveiling of Adirondack Mac, the mascot for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. The games will take place from Jan. 12 to 22, 2023, will see 2,500 athletes and coaches from 50 nations and 600 universities participate in 86 medal events across 12 different sports. 

“Every great event needs a mascot,” said Chris Carroll, the managing director of the games. 

To determine the mascot of the games a competition was held across New York state.

“We were hoping we’d get five to 10 entries, we ended up getting 150 different entries,” Carroll said. 

But after whittling down the various entries Adirondack Mac stood out as the best representation of the games. 

Adirondack Mac was designed by Farmington native Kristina Ingerowski, who is a sophomore at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Ingerowski said her grandparents inspired Adirondack Mac.

“Growing up we would spend time in Lake Placid, as they lived there, allowing me to form a personal connection with the region,” she said. “The Adirondacks contain such beauty and strength and my goal was to capture that.” 

She chose to go with a moose as the mascot since it symbolizes speed, endurance, agility and determination, she said. 

Carroll said the Schenectady County Curling Club on Balltown Road in Niskayuna offered the perfect place to announce the mascot for the games. 

“We cannot think of a better place to first introduce Adirondack Mac to the world, than the Schenectady Curling Club in New York’s historic Capital Region, which has lovingly supported the Adirondack Region and all its majesty for decades,” Carroll said. 

Carroll grew up in Schenectady for 23 years and Wednesday was his first time visiting the curling club facility, he said.

It was an honor to host the announcement of Adirondack Mac, said Dion Warr, the president of the club. 

“I love things that fall in my lap and this was a fantastic opportunity and I’m just happy to have the event here,” he said. 

Warr, who has been a member of the club since 1998, said when he moved from Canada he didn’t think he would want to get into curling but his roommate who was also from Canada insisted he learn the sport, so he did. 

Wednesday’s event also helps promote the curling club’s name in the community. The club has approximately 260 members ranging in age from 6-year-old children to one member who is 92.

“It’s for everybody,” he said. 

The club will be holding an open house February 20 to the 26, where people can come and try out curling. 

He said patience and balance are two key elements to learning to curl. 

Warr and another club member helped show us media members the proper technique to push the stone off toward the ring. 

Alas no one was able to beat Adirondack Mac, although Davis came pretty darn close. 

Needless to say though you won’t see me competing in any curling competitions anytime soon. While I ended up taking second place among the media members I know a lot more practice is needed. Adirondack Mac is also scheduled to appear at this year’s Holiday Parade in Schenectady on Saturday, according to a press release.

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