The 2013 Empire State Winter Games kick off today. A Lake Placid tradition, the games include alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsled, cross country skiing, figure skating, luge, Nordic combined, skeleton, ski jumping, skiercross/boardercross, ski orienteering, slopestyle, snowshoe, long and short track speed skating, women’s ice hockey, and several sports for adaptive competitors.
The Empire State Games were previously organized and sponsored by the State of New York until budget constraints cancelled the games in 2011. A group of local sponsors, including the Lake Placid Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, and the Village of Lake Placid, stepped forward to host the event themselves.
The Empire State Games start officially at 6 pm today, with Opening Ceremonies that feature the Parade of Athletes and a 2012 highlight video. The keynote speaker this year is 2010 Olympian and 4-time Norton U.S. National Champion, Chris Mazdzer. The Opening Ceremonies are a chance for the athletes to celebrate the beginning of an exciting weekend of competition.
Throughout the weekend, events will be held at the Olympic Center, the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, and the Olympic Sports Complex. Guests are encouraged to watch the competitions. While there is no spectator fee, admission is charged at some venues.
For more information on the Empire State Winter Games, visit their website at http://www.empirestatewintergames.com/