QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This season, winter sports are coming to Gore Mountain on more than the usual, recreational scale. There’s competition coming to the mountain, in the form of the FISU World University Winter Games, which invite university students to compete and show their skills. Ten days of events are set to be held at Gore – and further south in Warren County, they got a warm welcome.
On Tuesday morning, Glens Falls Mayor Bill Collins and Warren County officials gathered at SUNY Adirondack for a short ceremony welcoming the games to the area. The Adirondacks are mainly hosting the FISU games at Lake Placid, but Gore Mountain Ski Center is one of several other Adirondack venues hosting events. For the mayor, Tuesday morning brought back memories.
“This event reminds me of the 1980 Olympic torch that went through the Glens Falls Civic Center,” Collins recalled. “I was in 9th grade, and I got to sing with the rest of the chorus from Glens Falls High School. You can all thank me later that I’m not going to sing today.”
The Winter World University Games invites university students between the ages of 17 and 25 to compete in sports and cultural events. More than 2,500 student-athletes and coaches are expected to visit the region, coming from over 50 countries.
12 types of competition are in store, including alpine skiing, ice hockey, curling and long- and short-track speed skating. At Gore Mountain, featured events include snowboarding and freestyle skiing.
The World University Games have been held since the 19th century, bouncing between locations in the U.S., England, and Switzerland. They were last held in the U.S. in 1972, when they came to Lake Placid 8 years prior to the 1980 Winter Olympics.
For the Adirondacks, the games are expected to bring millions in economic impact, according to Warren County. That means a large amount of traffic for North Creek and Johnsburg, the small communities Gore Mountain calls home. The winter sports season is when those communities see some of their biggest influxes in traffic, from hotel stays and meals in restaurants to other activities around the state’s 6-million-acre northern reaches.
“The Town of Johnsburg welcomes athletes from around the world for this great event, and we wish you the best during your competitions,” said Johnsburg Town Supervisor Andrea Hogan. “We are glad to be able to share the beauty of our region with all who are coming to the Adirondacks for the World University Winter Games, and we hope you can explore wonderful Warren County as you enjoy your stay here.”
The games start on Thursday, Jan. 12, and continue until Sunday, Jan. 22. The list of venues hosting events includes:
- Saranac Lake Civic Center
- Cheel Arena at Clarkson University, Potsdam
- Whiteface Mountain
- Maxcy Hall at SUNY Potsdam
- Olympic Center Skating Oval, Lake Placid
- Roos House at SUNY Canton
- Olympic Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
- Olympic Jumping Complex, Lake Placid
- Mt. Van Hoevenberg
- Gore Mountain
The words from the mayor of Glens Falls aren’t the only impact the city has on this winter’s games. Glens Falls-based design agency Sidekick Creative designed the logo, medals, and many other branding elements being used in the 2023 winter games.
This winter has been light on snow, but organizers are less worried than they were in the weeks proceeding the 1980 Olympic Games. $500 million in state investment over recent years has funded tools and devices that will be used to keep snow and ice fresh at all 12 venues where the FISU games will be held.
“We are excited to welcome everyone from the World University Games to beautiful Warren County,” said Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty. “We are honored to have the best young winter sports athletes from around the world competing in our corner of the Southern Adirondacks. We thank the organizers of the World University Games as well as the hundreds of volunteers who have stepped up to put this event together and bring it to our region. We know it was a huge undertaking, and we greatly appreciate all of your efforts.”