Mark your calendars: The world’s largest collegiate winter sporting event is coming to Lake Placid, New York, from January 12th to 22nd. Known as the “NCAA Championships of the world,” the FISU World University Winter Games will bring over 2,000 athletes together across 600-plus universities and more than 50 countries to the Adirondack region for 12 collegiate sporting events like alpine skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey. Lake Placid 2023 is the first time the winter edition of the FISU Games has been held since the 2019 Games in Krasnoyarsk, Russia; the 2021 FISU Games, set for Switzerland, were canceled due to the worldwide pandemic. The Games were also held in Lake Placid back in 1972. There’s a lot to look forward to while the games are in town, so if you’re recreating out that way or want to make a trip out of it, read up on the details below and go check out this proving ground for national and international Olympic teams and athletes.

A Historical Venue

Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and again in 1980, the latter of which included one of the most famous victories in sports history: When the U.S. hockey team defeated the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team, and the “Miracle on Ice” was born. This historic upset took place at the Olympic Center, which will host the 2023 Ice Hockey and Figure Skating events at its three rinks. It’s also home to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which features North America’s second-largest Winter Olympic artifact collection and is open to the public as of last winter.

The Olympic Jumping Complex, one of the most recognizable competition venues from the 1980 Winter Olympics, will host the Ski Jumping, Freestyle & Freeski, and Nordic Combined events. Home to 90- and 120-meter ski jumps, the Jumping Complex serves as a training ground for ski jumpers and aerialists year-round.

Event Snapshot

The town of Lake Placid will serve as a hub for the winter games, with the medals ceremonies taking place at Mids Park (also where you can watch game highlights on a 20-foot projection screen and hear live post-ceremony music), and activations happening all along Main Street (ice sculptures, warming huts, beverages, cornhole & more). Our Lake Placid store is right next to Mids Park and will be in the center of the action. Stop in for any needed gear; we also have equipment rentals available if you’re looking to explore the area.

Below you’ll find a venue map and the event schedule can be found here. The opening ceremony takes place at the Olympic Center’s 1980 Rink on January 12th at 7 pm (tickets from $45) and tickets start at $10 for select events.


Names to Watch

North Country Public Radio recently covered a few North Country athletes and coaches that will participate, including two former SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals on the U.S. women’s ice hockey team (Annie Katonka and Erin McArdle), as well as alums from Middlebury College and UVM (Madeline Leidt, Elizabeth Simmons). According to NCPR, “Team USA holds the number two seed for women’s ice hockey. They’ll debut against third seed Japan on Thursday, Jan. 12 at SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall. Japan beat the U.S. for the bronze medal in 2019.” The men’s ice hockey team is seeded sixth and will be composed entirely of NCAA Division III players, pretty equally split between eastern and western universities and colleges. The coaching staff includes Lake Placid native Bill Beaney, a former longtime Middlebury College coach and the team’s general manager. The U.S. team will play 10th-seed Great Britain on Jan. 11 at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena in Potsdam. Stay posted on the news of the Games as more rosters are announced.

Courtesy: FISU World University Games/Facebook

Save Winter

The Lake Placid World University Games is aiming to set a new standard for environmental sustainability in international collegiate sports with the theme “Save Winter.” With over 200,000 attendees expected to be at the games, measures for reducing and diverting waste and carbon output have been instituted—for example, a 100% renewable local electric power grid and tree planting projects to offset travel emissions. Learn more here.

Participate in the free FISU World Conference: Save Winter—The Intersection of Climate Change and Winter Sports by registering here. Over 40 speakers from across North America will convene at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts from January 13th to 15th to discuss how we all play a role in saving the season of snow and ice, including Bill McKibben, Aaron Mair, Michael Richter, Kathleen Rogers, Kristen Kimball, and multiple Olympic Athletes.

While You’re Here

Looking for more adventures while you’re in the area? Check out the views from these Adirondack peaks, explore Whiteface, or visit one of these timeless food/drink spots in town. Going to the games? Let us know what events you’re checking out below and maybe we’ll see you there!