By: Zoe Jurmann, Syracuse University’s S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications student

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.– The men’s biathlon competition kicked off in a snowy fashion at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Thanks to accurate shooting in the range, Vladim Kurales of Kazakhstan came out on top of the Men’s 15-kilometer Short Individual race. Many competitors struggled with their shooting today, relying on their skiing abilities to come out on top. But Kurales only missed one target.

“Today was good, not my best race skiing-wise,” said Kurales. “The snow was great, and this was my best shooting of the season so far.”

Coming into today’s event, all eyes were on Olympian Alexandr Mukhin, who competed in IBU World Championships and Olympics before the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. Due to five (of 20 shots) missed shots during the race, Mukhin finished sixth. While Mukhin struggled to regain his top spot, Norwegian biathlete Oerjan Moseng finished just 42.6 seconds behind Kurales and shot almost perfectly. While the competitors normally have splits throughout the race to find out what place they’re in, today’s results were a mystery to the biathletes. All the men could do was try their absolute hardest and hope it was paying off.

Lake Placid is known for its difficult cross-country skiing course, and many of today’s competitors struggled with its uphill climbs. Many noted that this course was one of the hardest they have ever skied. For Lake Placid local Van Ledger, who finished 16th, the games being in his hometown means the world to him. He’s a current student of Montana State, where he competes in biathlon. Growing up training on this course, and now competing has been very special for him.

“This is huge, this is a massive step up from before, it’s amazing,” said Ledger. “Having these courses, especially this one, it’s one of the hardest that we’ve ever skied, and being able to train on it in the summer, it’s all a game changer.”

The women’s biathlon event is next at 14:50. Tomorrow, the cross-country sprint finals and nordic combine are set to take place at the scenic Mount Van Hoevenberg.

The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games is an 11-day competition and educational festival that features 1,443 collegiate-athletes, ages 17-25, from 595 universities across 43 countries. The competition consists of 12 winter sports and 86 medal events contested throughout northern New York, including Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.

Fans can follow the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with @LakePlacid2023, @SaveWinterHQ, #lakeplacid2023, #savewinter.

For more information about the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games or to purchase tickets, visit