When medals are handed out at the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid this winter, folks in Rochester and at Alfred University will feel a sense of pride.
Engineering professors and students from the School of Engineering at Alfred University helped create the gold, silver and bronze medals, which then were packaged at Rochester Rehabilitation Center by employees living with disabilities.
Rochester Rehabilitation Center operates six services in the rehabilitation areas of adaptive sports and inclusive recreation, employment and job support, driver evaluation and training, and mental health services. The organization serves 3,000 people annually in the Greater Rochester area that are living with disabilities, behavioral/mental health issues, and other disadvantages.
“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,” Mary Boatfield, president and CEO of the Rochester Rehabilitation Center, said in a news release.
“Since our founding, the focus of Rochester Rehabilitation has been providing our workforce with inclusive opportunities in work, wellness and independence,” Boatfield said. “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.”
The FISU World University Games, set for Jan. 12-22, is the largest winter multisport collegiate athletic event in the world and features 12 sports with 86 medal events.
Medals were designed by Sidekick Creative of Glens Falls. Each will be packed in a custom wooden keepsake box, created and handcrafted by Flour City Craft Co. of Rochester. The boxes were made from regionally sourced red oak from Orleans Millworks.
Flour City Craft Co. was founded in 2020 by technology education teachers Alexander Elkins and Joseph Gallina.
“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’ Organizing 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 medals resembled a roughly hewn block of ice, with the sharply cornered edges meant to resemble an Adirondack Mountain ridge. At the core is a recycled glass disc infused with copper oxide to deliver an icy blue hue. The Games logo is engraved on the glass insert, which features europium oxide, dysprosium oxide and samarium oxide; when exposed to ultraviolet light, the elements create a luminescent orange, red and yellow glow.
“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,” said Gabriel Gaustad, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering.
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