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

To Purchase Tickets for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Opening Ceremony on January 12, Click HERE

KAHNAWÀ:KE, N.Y. AND QUEBEC, CANADA — The Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Torch Relay Celebration arrives on the Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) of Kahnawà:ke on Thursday, Dec. 8 as part of the 15-stop tour that culminates in Lake Placid with the FISU Games’ first carbon-free cauldron lighting. The cauldron lighting will open the 31st FISU World University Games Winter Edition on Jan. 12, 2023.

The torch relay celebration, which is powered by Hydro-Quebec, will be welcomed with two ceremonies and a torch run featuring Kahnawà:ke youth and university athletes, North American Indigenous Games medalists, community elders, community members and other dignitaries.

The Games are expected to bring together 1,500 collegiate athletes, age 17-25, from 600 universities in 50 countries to participate in Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, freestyle and freeski, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, short track speed skating, snowboarding, ski jumping, and speed skating. A total of 86 events in 12 winter sports make up the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, taking place Jan. 12-22, 2023.

Torchbearers include Brooke Stacey, University of Maine hockey; Cougar Kirby, McGill University lacrosse; Kaymen Diabo, Champlain College-St. Lambert lacrosse; Wahsontiio Stacey, University of Vermont hockey; Kyla Morris, Maryville University hockey; Kale Kane, Norwich University hockey; Oran Horn, Mercyhurst University lacrosse; Konwanakeren Diabo, Canada Games canoe team; Kendall Horn, Champlain College-St. Lambert soccer; and Mya McGregor, John Abbott College soccer.

Dignitaries and ceremony speakers include Harry Rice, Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) Ratsénhaienhs (Elected Chief) for the Sports and Recreation Portfolio; Otsi’tsaken:ra Charlie Patton, Kahnawà:ke elder, and lacrosse standout Cougar Kirby. Gary Sutherland, Hydro-Quebec’s Senior Advisor on Stakeholder Relations for Northeast Markets and Ashley Walden, Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games chief operating officer will also speak.

Following remarks, the torch relay will proceed at approximately 2 p.m. Athletes will begin the 2.2-kilometer run, carrying the torch from the Kahnawà:ke Sports Complex to the Kahnawà:ke Youth Center, where the closing of the event will take place. Community members are invited to watch along the route (Old Malone Highway, up Rabaska Road and down River Road from the Hospital). The torch celebration event will be preceded at noon by a hockey clinic conducted by the Concordia University women’s team at the Kahnawà:ke Sports Complex.

For the first time, the FISU Flame is being carried in a sustainable torch, with no actual combustion or flame present. Instead, in keeping with the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ mission of sustainability, LED lights in the torch produce a brightly illuminated FISU Flame in a carbon-free presentation. These Games are the first in FISU history to make sustainability a major emphasis and provide a model for future FISU Games through the Save Winter campaign. Powered by Hydro-Québec and supported by ESPN, Karbon, Microplus and Panasonic, Save Winter is a movement designed to unite all who love winter to work together on the mission to save “the season of snow.”

The 22-inch-long torch was created and built by Adirondack Studios of Argyle, N.Y., the same studio that built the award podiums for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. The custom-made torch consists of elongated steel encasing a glacial-blue body, representing an artistic interpretation of ice and water.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke and Quebec-based Hydro-Québec are partners on a hydropower energy transmission initiative to supply power to New York City. MCK will become a joint owner of the line in Québec, once it is constructed, alongside Hydro-Québec. This is truly a historic achievement: the first shared ownership agreement for an export transmission line.

“We are excited to participate in the ceremonial activities leading up to the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid as we honor our university-level athletic students in Kahnawà:ke,” said Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) Ratsénhaienhs Harry Rice, portfolio holder for Sports and Recreation. “Our involvement comes at the benefit of the respectful partnership made with Hydro-Québec and solidifies further efforts towards mitigating climate change that we strongly advocate. We stand behind organizations such as these, that ensure every effort, and every message contributes to a global awareness that will change the harmful habits of humankind in order to protect our Mother Earth.”

“We’re pleased to be here in Kahnawà:ke and to take part in today’s celebrations,” said Serge Abergel, Chief Operating Officer of Hydro-Québec US, Hydro-Québec’s subsidiary company in the US Northeast. “Hydro-Québec is supporting the World University Games and particularly the theme of the Games this year, “Save Winter.” With the construction of a new transmission line into New York City, we’ll be taking a big step towards decarbonizing. Every day, we participate in the fight against climate change using our clean energy, but we’re also involved in making people aware of the risks related to climate change – including the risk of not being able to play winter sports like we have in the past.”

Other highlighted torch relay celebration stops in the run-up to the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games include New York City’s Rockefeller Center; Albany’s New York State Capitol; Gore Mountain; Keene Valley; Tupper Lake’s Wild Center; Paul Smith’s College; Wilmington and Saranac Lake. For a full listing of the torch relay stops, visit

The plans for the arrival of the torch in Lake Placid include stops at two of the venues of the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority, where most of the competitions will be held. The relay will then conclude with the lighting of the cauldron in the historic Brewster Park.


WHAT: Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games torch relay celebration

WHEN: Dec. 8, starting at 1:15 p.m.

SCHEDULE: Noon – Concordia University hockey clinic; 1:15 p.m. — Kahnawà:ke Sports Complex torch relay ceremony opening and speech; 2-3 p.m. – torch relay; 3-5 p.m. – Kahnawà:ke Youth Center ceremony closing and community event, including ticket and merchandise sales

MAP: Kahnawake Sports Complex to Kahnawake Youth Center – Google Maps

On-site contact: David Lahache, [email protected], 450-632-7500