CONTACT: Jon Lundin, Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Head of Communications & Media ([email protected]) Tel: 518-637-6885

Japan Claims the Overall Medal Count, While the United States Enjoys its Best-Ever FISU World University Games

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — After 11 days and 85 medal events, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games officially ended Sunday, Jan. 22, with the traditional closing ceremony, held in Lake Placid’s Olympic Center. The enthusiastic group of spectators, along with FISU delegates with local and New York State representatives helped wave goodbye to the 1,443 collegiate-athletes, from 46 countries, representing more than 540 universities, who participated in the 12 winter sports that made up the Games.

“There can be no doubt: Lake Placid is the place of legends for winter sports. We are reminded of this, just walking into this building and seeing the reminders of the ‘Miracle on Ice.’ We knew this was and is a very special place. And we had the privilege to be part of it,” said FISU acting president Leonz Eder. “Here, in winter, Lake Placid has brought unprecedented warmth to our Games. In a complicated world, full of conflict, this wonderful community has offered us an open heart. Let us not underestimate how lucky we are to have been able to enjoy these 11 days of joyous and peaceful celebration in sport.”

Five hundred-16 athletes are heading home with medals draped around their necks and some proudly showcased them to the television camera during the ceremony.

James McKenna, chairman to the Adirondack Sports Council, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Organizing Committee, added, “New York State has shown to the world that international sporting events have the power to unite peoples and nations. Records were broken and friendships were made as the entire world watched. To all residents and businesses of Lake Placid and New York’s North Country for showing the world what wonderful hosts we are. It is impossible to relate all the comments and stories about the friendliness of our local communities and their willingness to help that have been shared.”

Robert J. Rodriguez, New York Secretary of State, said “The 11-day competition brought hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators to New York State shining a global spotlight on everything the north country has to offer. Our newly renovated world-class Olympic complexes provided athletes with exceptional state-of-the-art facilities to compete while visitors from all over the world were introduced to an iconic tourist destination. New York State is proud to have hosted the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid and the surrounding areas because no one does winter better than New York State!”

As part of the closing ceremony, Eder transferred the FISU Flag to Stefano Lo Russo, the mayor for Torino, Italy, the host of the 2025 FISU World University Games, and Lorenzo Lentini, Italian University Sport Center delegate.

The 31st winter edition of the FISU World University Games marked just the second time the multi-sport and educational festival ventured outside Europe or Asia. The only other time was in 1972, when Lake Placid hosted the seventh edition.

Events were contested throughout New York State’s north country region. In addition to Lake Placid, competition took place in Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.

Prior to the closing ceremony, organizers held one last medal event, the men’s ice hockey gold medal game. Canada defeated the United States, 7-2, to claim the gold medal. Seven different players scored for the Canadians, who outshot the U.S. squad 47-19. Adam McCormick and Andrew Coxhead each had two assists in the win.

This was the United States’ first men’s ice hockey medal since 1972, when it won bronze. Kazakhstan came away with the men’s ice hockey bronze medal, overcoming Japan, 8-1, Sunday.

Team Japan finished first in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ overall medal count with 48 medals (21 gold, 17 silver and 10 bronze). Japanese men won 12 gold medals, seven silver and six bronze, while the women combined to claim seven gold, eight silver and three bronze. The mixed teams came away with two gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

Republic of Korea finished second overall with 29 medals (12 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze), while France claimed 18 medals (5 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze) and was third.

The U.S. squad, who did not medal in 2019, enjoyed its best-ever FISU Games with 17 medals. The three gold, eight silver and six bronze medals, allowed the U.S. squad to finish fourth overall, tied with Poland, and surpass its previous best of 15 medals won, set in 1993.

Niklas Malacinski led the 150-member team with four medals won. He claimed bronze in the mixed team Nordic combined normal hill/2×2.5km and came away with silver medals in both the men’s Nordic combined mass start (10km/normal hill) and men’s Nordic combined Individual Gundersen (normal hill/10km). He and Evan Nichols also combined to win gold in the men’s Nordic combined team sprint. Nichols also won the bronze medal in the men’s Nordic combined Individual Mass Start 10km/normal hill competition.

The U.S. squad won the men’s curling silver medal and the women’s bronze medal. Bjorn Westervelt claimed the men’s biathlon 12.5km pursuit gold medal and he also raced to the silver medal in the 10km sprint. John Steel Hagenbuch won two cross-country skiing medals, gold in the 30km mass start free and bronze in the 10km pursuit free.

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