Lake Placid – In this Upstate New York region that is a mecca for winter sports, the countdown has begun to one of the most prestigious sporting events outside of the Olympic Games.
The FISU World University Games, awarded to Lake Placid in March 2018, will be held Jan. 12-23 in a wide swath of the Adirondack Mountains and St. Lawrence River Valley. FISU (Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire) will feature a total of 2,438 collegiate athletes and officials representing 49 countries. They will converge on Gore Mountain in North Creek, the Lake Placid Olympic region, Saranac Lake and the communities of Canton and Potsdam.
This action on snow and ice will present 12 different sport disciplines for men and women. Competitors will be 17 to 25 years of age.
Here is the lineup with corresponding venues and locations:
FISU men’s hockey action is set for Roos House at the State University in Canton, women’s hockey at Maxcy Ice Arena at the State University in Potsdam, and men’s hockey in Cheel Arena on the campus of Clarkson University, also in Potsdam.
The Saranac Lake Civic Center will conduct curling,
Head to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington for alpine skiing,
The Lake Placid Olympic Center has medal round hockey games for men and women, figure skating and short track speed skating,
Lake Placid Olympic Speed Skating Oval will host long track speed skating,
Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid is the site of cross-country skiing and biathlon action,
Olympic Jumping Complex is set for ski jumping and Nordic combined,
Gore Mountain in North Creek is looking forward to snowboarding, big air and free skiing.
In addition to sports, FISU makes it a point to include arts, music and education as part of the total Games experience. The FISU World Conference is set for Jan. 13-15 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. With climate change a significant topic, the theme of the event is Save Winter.
Those attending the competitions in Lake Placid will be treated to the Festival Village in Mid’s Park on Main Street from 1-9 PM daily. The highlight of the many activities there will be the nightly awards ceremonies and live musical entertainment. The Mirror Lake Inn is walking distance to the Festival Village, Olympic Center and the speed skating oval.
Also, a key element of the spectating experience will be the pedestrian only traffic on Main Street from Brewster Park to Adirondack Decorative Arts and Crafts. It is recommended that vehicles use the backside of Mirror Lake to access our hotel and egress from the Inn.
Note to Main Street residents and businesses: you will have access if you live within the closure area. Just apply for a Vehicle Access Parking Pass.
Speaking of Brewster Park, a cauldron will be unveiled there on Dec. 12, followed by the lighting of the cauldron on Jan. 12. The torch that will make its way to Lake Placid has already been lit in the Olympic city of Torino, Italy.
Visitors who plan on spending time in Lake Placid during the World University Games should know that there will be some restrictions at the venues. Competition and training trails at Whiteface Mountain, such as Draper’s Drop, Upper and Lower Thruway as well as Upper and Lower Parkway will not be available at that time.
Also, the Olympic Speed Skating Oval on Main Street will be closed to recreational skating during this period. However, if you wish to take a public bobsled ride, that attraction will be offered as will much of the cross-country ski terrain at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Mirror Lake Inn guests can use the cross-country ski trails at our sister property, the Whiteface Club and Resort, free of charge. You would only be charged for renting equipment, if needed.
This is the current scenario. Event organizers will issue periodic updates on venue access as we draw closer to January.
We would be remiss if we didn’t advise visitors to allow for extra time to get around Lake Placid, Whiteface Mountain and the other venues during the Games. With this influx of athletes and officials in addition to normal visitation, we will all need a bit more time to get to our destinations.
Fans interested in following the Games on television as well as on their electronic devices can do so via ESPN+ which will have all the competition from every sport live streamed. Coverage will total nearly 140 hours. It’s big brother, ESPN, will air gold medal hockey and the Closing Ceremony with a three-hour live broadcast on Jan. 22. An additional live hour on ESPN is set for Jan. 18. More than 20 hours are slated for ESPN2 and ESPNU.
Finally, tickets are now on sale. Please log on to: https://vivenu.com/seller/adirondack-sports-council-fskv
(All action images courtesy FISU. Adirondack Mac courtesy Lake Placid 2023)