CANTON — The college equivalent of the winter Olympics will take place across the north country in January, and volunteers are needed to help facilitate it.
The FISU World University Games bring together the best college athletes every two years from across the globe to compete in 12 winter sports.
“These are the sports that all of us in the north country know and love,” said Jon Lundin, spokesperson for the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games. These sports include ice hockey, figure skating, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, alpine skiing and more.
“It’s an opportunity for 2,500 athletes from 600 universities and 50 nations to come to the United States and compete in this global event,” Mr. Lundin said. “It’s sort of like the college Olympics, and more than 1,000 athletes from these games have gone on to compete in the Olympics.”
The opening ceremony starts Jan. 12 in Lake Placid, and will end on Jan 22. Events will be held in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.
“Canton and Potsdam are going to be home to the preliminary rounds of men and women’s ice hockey,” Mr. Lundin said.
He said Clarkson University and SUNY Canton will host the men’s hockey preliminary rounds, in which 12 nations will compete, and SUNY Potsdam will host the women’s hockey tournament. The top four teams will go on to play for medals at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid — the renowned site of the “Miracle on Ice,” when an underdog U.S. Olympic hockey team won an unlikely gold medal against the then-Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Games.
Mr. Lundin said the organization is seeking between 1,800 and 2,100 volunteers for all the locations combined.
“Volunteering is the most crucial role for any large-scale event, and it’s a great way for people to have unique involvement in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
All aspects of the games need volunteer help, from logistics, to IT needs, media roles, language services, athlete village operations and more. For a complete list of information, or to register, visit wdt.me/FISUvolunteer.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older unless registered with a club or organization. Volunteers aren’t paid, but swag will be provided.
“Volunteers will receive a wonderful uniform made by Karbon which includes a hat, gloves, a three-quarter zip and an outdoor jacket,” Mr. Lundin said.
They will also have access to all events, food and beverages, and an invitation to a post-games party.
“Hosting these games here is a great way for us to promote the uniqueness of the Adirondacks and the north country region, not just for sport, but for economic development as well,” Mr. Lundin said. “I can’t think of a better way to showcase what is here for the north country.”
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