2023 Winter World University Games : Schedule, preview, how to watch as Japanese stars headline field
World champion Sakamoto Kaori is the biggest name competing in Lake Placid, USA, later this month at the Winter World University Games. Discover how to follow all the action.
|Date||Thu, Jan 12, 2023 – Sun, Jan 22, 2023|
|Evant Time||2023 Jan|
|Broadcaster||FISUTV, Peacock, USA Network|
|Live Stream Free||Watch Here|
Are you ready for more figure skating? While we’re in national championships season, another international competition is on the horizon.
The 2023 FISU Winter World University Games (previously known as the Winter Universiade), held in Lake Placid, New York State, later this month, run from 12–22 January, with the figure skating from 13–15 January.
As its name suggests, the competition is open to senior skaters who are also university students or graduated from university in 2022. And they will be competing in a historic city on historic ice – Lake Placid has twice hosted the Olympic Winter Games, in 1932 and 1980, and rinks at the Lake Placid Olympic Center will be used for practice and competitions.
This is not a second-string event either – multiple Olympians have been selected for the event, headlined by Japan’s Sakamoto Kaori, the Beijing 2022 singles bronze medallist and current world champion.
Three of figure skating’s four regular categories will be contested in Lake Placid, with competition in men’s and women’s singles as well as ice dance, but not pairs.
Athletes to watch: World champ Sakamoto is star attraction
World champion Sakamoto, fresh from retaining her title at the Japanese nationals, is the stand-out name in the three disciplines.
She is joined by training partner and recent Grand Prix Final champion Mihara Mai. Mihara is the defending champion from 2019 with the 2021 event cancelled.
Kim Ye-lim, who beat Sakamoto in the NHK Trophy and was the Republic of Korea’s sole representative at this season’s Grand Prix Final, has also been selected alongside PyeongChang 2018 Olympian Choi Da-bin.
Beijing 2022 Olympians Ekaterina Kurakova (Poland) and Eva-Lotta Kiibus (Estonia) are also in the women’s field.
Olympic silver medallist Kagiyama Yuma was set to headline the men’s field, but has withdrawn after continuing to struggle with his ankle injury, which hampered him on his return to competition at the Japanese national championships over Christmas.
Sato Shun and Yamamoto Sota, who both competed at the Grand Prix Final, will lead Japan’s charge alongside Tsuboi Tatsuya.
One challenger to the Japanese could come from Italy’s Nikolaj Memola, the Junior Grand Prix Final champion who is moving up to the senior level.
With U.S. nationals set for the week after, the hosts are not sending a full-strength line-up with significant international experience.
While she is not competing, U.S. Olympian Karen Chen is due to participate in the gala.
Figure skating schedule – 2023 FISU Winter World University Games Lake Placid
All times are in Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours). The schedule is preliminary and subject to change.
Friday 13 January
- 13:00 Ice dance rhythm dance
- 17:00 Men’s short program
Saturday 14 January
- 13:00 Women’s short program
- 20:00 Ice dance free dance, followed by victory ceremony
Sunday 15 January
- 13:00 Men’s free skate, followed by victory ceremony
- 19:00 Women’s free skate, followed by victory ceremony
In one week’s time, the opening of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games will take place. This will be the second time Lake Placid and the North Country of the State of New York in the United States will play host to the world’s top university athletes, the first time having been in 1972.
Energy can be felt on the streets of Lake Placid as athletes, coaches, officials, and organisers continue to arrive in preparation for the start of the FISU Games. While women’s and men’s ice hockey, and snowboard cross competition will begin before the opening ceremony, the official start to the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games will be the evening of 12 January. The Olympic Center’s Herb Brooks Arena will be the venue for the festivities that will include performances and presentations that honour and celebrate the rich sport history of New York while highlighting the special season that is winter.
How to watch 2023 Winter Universiade figure skating
The 2023 FISU Winter World University Games (formerly Winter Universiade) will be broadcast on the FISU TV YouTube channel, and on the ESPN+ streaming service as well as ESPN2 and ESPNU on TV in the United States, TSN in Canada, and Eurosport in various European countries.
Figure skating competitions at the 2023 Winter World University Games will also be live-streamed on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com, although this will not be available in the United States or Canada (other territorial restrictions may also apply).