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World University Games Coming To Town

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Some 1,500 collegiate athletes, representing 600 universities and 50 countries will descend on northern New York for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games in January – and Clarkson will be a part of the major event as well.

Our Cheel Arena will host preliminary hockey games from January 11 to 19, leading up to finals in Lake Placid. Potsdam is part of the “torch tour” happening across New York State which will culminate in the opening of the 31st FISU Winter World University Games on January 12 in Lake Placid. (FISU stands for the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire, which translates to the International University Sports Federation.)

The opening will include the lighting of the FISU Games’ first carbon-free cauldron flame, and that symbol is connected to Clarkson as well. Professor Ken Visser of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department and founder of Ducted Wind Turbines is providing the games with a portable small wind turbine to help keep the cauldron lit. He will also “recharge” the sustainable torch when it passes through Potsdam.

Save Winter

The games are the first in FISU history to emphasize sustainability, through the concurrent “Lake Placid 2023 FISU World Conference: Save Winter” from January 12 to 20. Keynote speakers and panel discussions will focus on how climate change is impacting winter sports around the world. One speaker in Potsdam will be Clarkson’s Erik Backus, professor of practice and director of the university’s construction engineering management program, who will introduce participants to the refurbished Cheel Arena and explain how we have reduced the amount of energy used to make arena ice, as well as other energy-saving measures.

For information on any facet of the event and how to attend, visit

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