The Winter World University Games is the largest winter multi-sport collegiate athletic event in the world.

The 11-day international festival and competition combines high-level sport with educational and cultural events, all taking place in Lake Placid and nearby towns.

In 2018, former Governor Cuomo announced that Lake Placid was selected to host the 2023 World University Games. New York State is proud to be hosting these games and looks forward to showcasing New York and the North Country to an international audience.
History of the World University Games

The Winter World University Games is the largest multi-sport winter event in the world, after the Winter Olympics. The games combine high-level competitive sport with educational and cultural events, both in Lake Placid and nearby towns. University students between the ages of 17 and 25 are eligible to enter.

12 Sports, 86 Medal Events, 50 Countries, 600 Universities, 2500 Athletes and Coaches.

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Freestyle & Freeski
  • Ice Hockey
  • Nordic Combined
  • Short Track Speed Skating
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboard
  • Speed Skating


At the beginning of the 19th century, the games were born, guided by the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The first inter-university meets were held in the United States, England, and Switzerland. That gradually led to the emergence of university sports associations, the first of which came into being in the United States in 1905. The International Confederation of Students was established in 1919 and it was this organization’s Sports Committee that launched the first World University Games in 1923.
Black and white historical photo of female figure skaters on a medal podium from previous Games.

Ever since, the games have continued to attract more and more participants. Starting with a total of 1,407 participants for the summer games in Turin, Italy, in 1959, the Universiade — a combination of ‘university’ and ‘Olympiad’ — saw a total of 6,757 participants from more than 165 countries in Beijing, China, in 2001, and 6,643 participants from 174 countries in Daegu, Korea, in 2003. The highest number of participants was registered at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, with 11,759 athletes representing 159 countries. The Winter Universiade began with 98 athletes in the games in Zell-Am-See, Austria, in 1958, and went on to a record 2,668 participants from 52 countries at the Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy, in 2013.

Impact on the Adirondacks & NYS

The World University Games will reignite the celebrated history of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic venues, many of which have been recently modernized. These improvements will benefit the experience of all athletes and visitors before, during, and after the Games. Throughout the Olympic Region, projects such as housing developments, infrastructure updates, and building renovations will endure as lasting positive impacts for years to come.
The Lake Placid World University Games Logo

Lake Placid was the host city of the winter World University Games in 1972, with its logo designed by Lake Placid native Robert Whitney. He also designed the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics logo.

The primary goal of creating a new logo for this event is the expression of movement and energy—representing the spirit of athleticism and competition on display at the World University Games. Secondly, the logo was designed to celebrate New York state and Lake Placid’s legacy of winter sports excellence. With a nod to the imagery of the Official New York state seal, and a color palette that parallels the New York State of Opportunity™ brand, there’s a strong visual connection to New York state as a whole.
Logo for the 1972 World Winter World University Games held in Lake Placid.
Original 1972 Logo

The central figure represents a student athlete as the focal point of the Games while simultaneously forming a wintry landscape. The dual image speaks to the human connection to nature and the Games’ focus on climate and sustainability.

Finally, the bold brushwork used in the logo elements gives the artwork a traditional and accessible human feel. All of which are balanced by a vibrant color palette featuring warm and cool gradients for a contemporary feel.

It’s no wonder visitors and athletes alike have long been attracted to New York state for its postcard-perfect vistas and world-class sporting events. Put simply, this logo captures the charm of Lake Placid, the excitement of the games and the spirit of New York state.
Logo for the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games.