FISU are awarding athletes with NFTs at Lake Placid 2023 ©FISU

Athletes are receiving non-fungible token (NFT) digital trophies at the Lake Placid 2023 International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter World University Games following a collaboration with sports management and monetisation software company Leverade.

In addition to the physical medals, FISU is using blockchain technology to award competitors with digital trophies as it claims to be "positioning itself as one of the world's most innovative entities."

"Thanks to blockchain technology, FISU will deliver official medals in NFT format minted by the Federation, with a certificate of authenticity and ownership recorded in the blockchain forever," read a FISU statement.

"Digital trophies are a great asset and attraction to capture the public's attention, encourage engagement, and interaction in social networks, and thus attract media attention."

A series of benefits are said to come for athletes who earn the digital medals.

They will obtain an exclusive and unique digital certification of their sporting achievement which can be carried anywhere via mobile phone, with a virtual trophy room available on the metaverse.

FISU claims that through the digital award they can generate visibility on social networks and finance their careers as athletes.

"The agreement reached between FISU and LEVERADE is a big step toward the future of university sports and demonstrates the utilities and possibilities of blockchain technology within the sporting world," the statement continued.

Lake Placid 2023 is currently underway in the New York village and is set to run until January 22.

The Japanese delegation are dominating the medals table with nine golds, five silvers, and two bronze medals.

France are the closest competition with two golds, three silvers, and four bronzes.

Several sporting organisations have released their own NFTs including the Association of Tennis Professionals, the Ju-Jitsu International Federation, World Archery, and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

The WBSC also partnered with Leverade to launch the initiative, with the pair striking up a two-year deal.