Published on: May 17, 2022

World University Games coming to Lake Placid

Lake Placid – One of the world’s most prestigious winter sporting events is coming to Lake Placid and the Northern region of New York State in just eight months.

Our two-time Olympic village is ramping up operations to host the 2023 World University Games (WUG), also known as the FISU Games (Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire), from January 12-22. While Lake Placid is the focal point of these winter competitions for collegiate athletes, the events are set to be held across a wide swath of Upstate New York. Some 2,500 athletes and coaches, representing over 30 nations, are expected to participate in a festival of sport, culture, music and food.

Upstate New York map
Map of Upstate New York outlining the FISU Games venues

Lake Placid hosted the first WUG in 1972; January will mark the 31st edition of the winter version. Men and women athletes ages 17-25 are eligible to participate in 12 different sports.

Here is the lineup and corresponding venues:

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,

Whiteface Mountain for alpine skiing,

Lake Placid Olympic Center with medal round hockey for men and women, figure skating and short track speed skating,

Lake Placid Olympic Speed Skating Oval hosting long track speed skating,

Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid will have 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.

Youngster with Games mascot
A youngster has fun with Games mascot Adirondack Mac

Paul Smith’s College, 21 miles west of Lake Placid, will host many of the WUG athletes. Housing will also be provided for competitors in Canton and Potsdam, at The Great Escape in Lake George for Gore Mountain events, and at the Lake Placid Olympic and Paralympic Training Center for Americans competing at the ORDA/Lake Placid sites.

In conjunction with the FISU Games, New York State has contributed massively with needed funds for venue improvements and modernization in anticipation of the Games.

According to the Lake Placid News, “the state has committed nearly $240 million in funding to support the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) properties. These investments are improving the infrastructure of ORDA facilities to ensure they can continue to attract and support large-scale, global events, while transforming these facilities into year-round attractions. This includes a new 30,000 square foot Mount Van Hoevenberg base lodge….Additionally, new frost rails with LED lighting have been installed on the Hill Size 100 and Hill Size 128 ski jumps, ensuring a consistent and reliable jumping surface regardless of changing weather conditions.”

A financial infusion for the Saranac Lake Civic Center will turn the rink into a world class curling venue as well as for future local and regional hockey.

Whiteface Mountain continues to evolve with lift replacements, significant snowmaking upgrades, trail work and base lodge and mid-mountain lodge rebuilds.

The Olympic Center, with its three ice rinks, and the adjacent speed skating complex, are both in the midst of completing their renovations which will bring them into the modern era with new refrigeration technology and internal arena improvements, particularly the site of the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

For those coming to spectate, see why a visit to Lake Placid and the Mirror Lake Inn may be among the very best winter experiences in North America. While you are here taking in the Games, there’s always time for skiing and riding at Whiteface Mountain, skating indoors and outdoors, shooting down Mount Van Hoevenberg in a bobsled, snow shoeing and cross country skiing.

We’ll continue to update FISU Games developments as time draws closer to the Opening Ceremony.

(Photos and artwork courtesy and Lake Placid 2023)