Almost 1,500 athletes signed up Games
LAKE PLACID — Almost 1,500 athletes are expected to compete in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games in early January.
Games organizers issued a press release with the latest athlete numbers on Thursday, reporting that 1,443 athletes from 43 countries — representing 595 universities — had signed up, according to Jon Lundin, head of communications and media for the Games. About 58% of the athletes are men and 42% are women.
Lundin told the Lake Placid News on Thursday morning that an athlete from Croatia recently signed up; therefore the nation count is now 44. Teams have until Jan. 10 to register their official rosters, he added, so the final number of participants may change.
When adding sports officials, medical staff, administration, media liaison, delegation officials and extra officials, the total number of participants is expected to be 2,186.
The top three countries by athlete participation are the United States (150), Japan (139) and Canada (121).
The other countries sending university athletes to Lake Placid will be Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China (a separate team is coming from Hong Kong), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Turkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
In response to the war in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, athletes from Russia and Belarus will not be competing in Lake Placid, as they have in past World University Games.
In all, collegiate-athletes ages 17-25 will participate in 86 medal events in 12 sports: Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, freestyle and freeski, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, snowboard, ski jumping, speedskating and short-track speedskating.
The top three sports by athlete participation will be ice hockey (398 students from 12 countries), Alpine skiing (195 students from 37 countries) and cross-country skiing (163 students from 26 countries). The sports with the least participation will be Nordic combined (21 students from six countries), freestyle and freeski (34 students from 14 countries) and ski jumping (36 students
from seven countries).
According to the participation list provided on Dec. 22, the U.S. will have 150 students competing in the following sports: Alpine skiing (18), biathlon (14), cross-country skiing (14), curling (10), freestyle and freeski (one), figure skating (12), ice hockey (46), Nordic combined (five), snowboard (eight), ski jumping (seven), speedskating (six) and short-track speedskating (10). One student is signed up for two sports: speedskating and short-track speedskating.
Lake Placid native Van Ledger, who currently attends Montana State University, is expected to be competing in biathlon, and Paul Smith’s College students Aiden Ripp and Timothy Ziegler are expected to compete in Nordic combined.
Venues hosting the Games’ events will be located in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam. The opening ceremony will be held on Jan. 12 at the Olympic Center’s 1980 Rink, with some events being held the day before, and the closing ceremony will be held on Jan. 22 at the 1980 Rink following the gold-medal men’s hockey game.
For more information, visit www.lakeplacid2023.com.