Published on: December 30, 2022

Upstate New York welcomes FISU Winter Games

Lake Placid – The nearly five-year wait is just about over. Lake Placid and Upstate New York as well as the southern and northern Adirondacks are ready to welcome the world once again with the 2023 FISU World University Games.

This 10-day festival of sport, culture and the arts, conducted by FISU (Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire), takes place Jan. 12-22 at venues as far south as Gore Mountain and to the north in Canton and Potsdam. In all, over 1,400 student/athletes representing some 600 universities and 49 nations will compete for 86 medals in 12 disciplines. Athletes will range in age from 17-25. Including coaches and officials, over 2,400 will converge on New York State.

This is the second time the FISU Games have been held in the region. The first was in 1972 when all events took place in Lake Placid.

A skier on snow
Alpine skiing is one of the centerpiece events of the World University Games

The Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is a short drive to all Lake Placid competition venues.

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. These are the sites of the preliminary round games. The medal-round games will occur in the house that Herb Brooks built, the Lake Placid Olympic Center.

The Saranac Lake Civic Center will conduct curling,

Head to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington for alpine skiing,

In addition to the final games to determine the hockey medals, the Lake Placid Olympic Center will be the site of 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 hosts ski jumping and Nordic combined,

Gore Mountain in North Creek is looking forward to snowboarding, big air and free skiing.

It wouldn’t be an international sports event, however, without a party scene. That will be above Mid’s Park where fans will find the medals plaza and live nightly entertainment from 1-9 PM daily at street level. There will also be games and sports-related activities. The Mirror Lake Inn is just a short walk from this daily festival.

World University Games schedule
The entertainment lineup for World University Games

In the spirit of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Main Street will be a pedestrian walkway from the beginning of Saranac Avenue to Adirondack Decorative Arts and Crafts Gift Shop.

Among the highlights will be a figure skating gala in the Olympic Center to conclude this portion of the FISU Games. The skating event will feature Olympic medalist Karen Chen, along with groups Figure Skating in Harlem, the Ice Theater of New York and other talented entertainment.

Sustainability has been a recurring theme of these World University Games, and to that end, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts will present Save Winter. Industry experts will lead and participate in discussions and presentations on the effects of climate change on winter sports. It is hoped that area students, in particular, will benefit from these sessions.

Fans interested in following the Games on television as well as on their electronic devices can do so via subscription on 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. Viewers should also bookmark for free live action.

We want to remind 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.

Tickets for all World University Games activities are on sale at:

(Action photos Courtesy FISU; artwork courtesy Lake Placid 2023)