Thursday, February 2, 2012

Empire State Winter Games Begin

For the 32nd year, the Empire State Winter Games, formerly hosted by New York State, will be held in Lake Placid February 2nd through 5th. Organized by the Lake Placid CVB and the Olympic Regional Development Authority, the Games incorporate winter sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, biathlon, figure skating, luge, speed skating, bobsled/skeleton, women’s ice hockey, ski orienteering, and freestyle skiing.

In 2011, the state of New York did not follow through in their commitment to hold the Games due to severe budget cuts. Several local organizations, including ORDA and the Lake Placid CVB, stepped up to finish organization of the event and were able to rescue the Empire State Games from extinction.

This year marks the second year of the Games as a community event, and will feature over 1,000 athletes. The entire region, not just Lake Placid, will be utilized for sporting events.

The Empire State Winter Games start on Thursday. At 6:00 pm, the Opening Ceremonies are held in the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena. This offers the athletes a chance to parade into the arena as a representative of their sport. The Key Note Speaker will be well-known actor and Lake Placid resident James Tolkan, who is best known for his roles in the movies Back to the Future and Top Gun.

After the Opening Ceremonies, the Games are officially open. The competitions will resume at various facilities including Mt Van Hoevenburg, Mt Pisgah, Whiteface and the Olympic Center.

Information about schedules, sports, news, and more can be found online.

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Christie Sausa of Lake Placid is a member of the historic figure and speed skating culture in the Olympic Village, and writes about those sports for the Lake Placid News and on Lake Placid Skater which she founded in 2007.

Christie holds degrees in Communications and Sports and Events Management and when not on the ice herself, or writing about what happens there, you can find her helping her mom with their local business, the Lake Placid Skate Shop.

Christie is a also a member of the Skating Club of Lake Placid and the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club.

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