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FISU World Conference to address Climate Change and Winter Sports

Winter Games 15 November 2022

The FISU World Conference, scheduled for 13-15 January 2023 to coincide with the opening week of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, will feature athletes, advocates, authors, innovators, environmental leaders in both the private sector and government, and researchers, focusing on The Intersection of Climate Change and Winter Sports.


Esteemed author, environmentalist, journalist and activist Bill McKibben, Nathan Chen, the reigning men’s Olympic figure skating gold medalist, and national wilderness activist Aaron Mair headline the list of speakers at the conference. Topics will include alternative energy, farming, forestry, food activism, the science of ice and snow and diversity in the outdoors.


“Winter sporting communities and athletes alike are seeing first-hand the impact of climate change on winter sport,” said Ashley Walden, Adirondack Sports Council executive director, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ Organizing Committee. “It’s an incredible honor that so many experts and industry leaders have agreed to join us in Lake Placid this winter to educate and advocate on this critical topic.”


McKibben (picture), called “probably America’s most important environmentalist” by the Boston Globe, is the co-founder and senior advisor at, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. McKibben is a distinguished scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College of Middlebury, Vt., who has organized 20,000 rallies worldwide and launched the fossil fuel divestment movement.


Last February, Chen became just the seventh American figure skater to capture Olympic gold in the men’s individual competition. Chen is currently attending Yale University, where he’s majoring in statistics and data science. In 2021 he joined Team Panasonic, and now promotes the “Panasonic Green Impact” initiative which strives to achieve carbon neutrality together with society, by creating impacts from actions that reduce CO2 emissions. He works alongside the company as they continue to create technologies making an impact and effecting positive change.


Mair currently serves as the Adirondack Wilderness campaign director for the Adirondack Council. He was the 57th president of the Sierra Club, one of the most important and influencial environmental organisations in the United States.


“The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games represents the first time that sustainability is a major theme in an international collegiate multisport event and is designed to be a model for future FISU Games,” said Karlan Jessen, Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ head of legacy and sustainability. “It’s especially great since we are able to offer this conference at little or no cost to anyone who chooses to attend, with a special focus on attracting students.”


Other events during conference week include the special “A Night at the Wild Center” in Tupper Lake on 14 January, and a film festival on 15 January that will showcase short films on sports and the environment.


The Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, set for 12-22 January 2023, are expected to draw 1,500 athletes from more than 50 countries and 600 universities. Athletes will compete in 12 winter sports and 86 medal events throughout the Adirondack region, with competitions held in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, North Creek, Wilmington, Canton, and Potsdam.


Additional information


Reservations are now being accepted by visiting the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ official website, . Questions about the Conference can be directed to:


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


Applications continue to be accepted for working media accreditation for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. To apply for media accreditation, click HERE. To download the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games’ media guide click HERE, the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ media services guide is available HERE.


The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games’ Save Winter campaign is powered by Hydro-Québec and supported by ESPN, Microplus, Panasonic and Karbon. The movement is designed to unite all who love winter to work as one toward saving “the season of snow.”


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