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Rick Leary '68 Shares His FISU Experience

"I was visiting Lake Placid the fall of 2021 and learned of the upcoming Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games to be held in  January. In early 2022, volunteer opportunities opened up and I applied. By the fall things were firming up for me to be involved in the Game’s men’s ice hockey events assisting with game stats. At that point, I was in regular communication with Dave Webb, Sports Manager, for the ice hockey events.   The preliminary games between a field of twelve men’s teams were to be held at SUNY Canton and Clarkson University, with the medal events to be held at the Olympic Center Herb Brooks Arena, in Lake Placid. The women’s ice hockey preliminaries between six teams were scheduled at SUNY Potsdam, with the finals at Lake Placid.   On January 7, 2023, I began the drive to Lake Placid from Charleston, S.C. I arrived Monday morning the 9th to check in at the Olympic Center to pick up my credentials and very cool uniforms supplied by Karbon Sports, Canada. Speaking of Canada, I continued north through a snow-covered landscape and crossed the Ogdensburg Prescott International Bridge and headed to Ottawa to catch a Senators game. The next afternoon, I returned to the US and checked in at Canton. The next day, I met with Dave Webb and Mike McCabe Northwood ’96, and was introduced to three Italians representing MicroPlus Informatica, the FISU games data processing and technical support organization.   I then worked my first game, Japan vs. Latvia, from a booth above the SUNY Canton Roos arena. I quickly fell in with my new friends Sebastian, Matthias, and Matteo as well as local volunteers, most of whom I would work with throughout the games. Nineteen preliminary games later between the Roos and Cheel Arenas, it was off to Lake Placid to work the medal games, which ended on Sunday, January 22 with both the Canadian men’s and women’s teams winning gold. During the medal games, I had the pleasure to work with Emilee Hazelden, Northwood ‘11, in our perch high above the Herb Brooks Arena. For complete recap information on all the FISU events, go to: (   I was indeed fortunate to be involved with the Games and had the honor of meeting and serving with wonderful people. I met members of the Ukrainian National Hockey Team, shook hands with numerous other national players and coaches, enjoyed the Canadians who descended on the rinks with Tim Horton coffee in hand, and collaborated daily with my Italian cohorts with much levity and friendship. Eccezzionale!   The next winter FISU World University Games will be held in Turin, Italy in 2025. I am tempted to begin Italian language lessons!"