The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex sliding track, in Lake Placid, N.Y. opens for the season, weather permitting, Saturday, Oct. 18, for U.S. luge athletes. American bobsled and skeleton athletes will wait two days, Monday, Oct. 20, until their first training runs down the track.
The 2014-’15 sliding season is setting up to be a very busy one for the famed track. In December, the mile-long, 20-curve course will play host to FIL luge World Cup racing and FIBT World Cup bobsled and skeleton action.
“We’re very excited to welcome these two World Cups to Lake Placid. Our crews will be hard at work to prepare the best track conditions possible for the world’s best to compete. The Mt. Van Hoevenberg track, long known for being one of the most technical, will provide the perfect setting for athletes and spectators alike,” New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) president/CEO Ted Blazer said in a statement to the press.
On Dec. 5-6, Luge World Cup racing returns to Lake Placid for the first time since February 2012. The race is the second event in the nine-event series, which begins, Nov. 29-30, in Igls, Austria. This will mark the 13th time that Lake Placid has hosted a luge World Cup event. Races will be held for men and women’s singles, doubles and the fan favorite, team relay. Team relay racing made its Olympic debut last February in Sochi, Russia.
Once the world’s top luge athletes leave town, the world’s best bobsled and skeleton athletes will pull in for their World Cup event, the following weekend, Dec. 12-13. This race opens the eight-race FIBT World Cup season, which will take its athletes through seven different countries this winter. Athletes competing in this World Cup event will race in two and four-man bobsled, women’s bobsled and men and women’s skeleton.
Additional events on the track this season will include North American bobsled racing, Jan. 12-18, and the 34th Empire State Winter Games, bobsled, luge and skeleton racing, Feb. 5-6. Plus visitors to the Lake Placid region can enjoy bobsled passenger rides. With a professional driver and brakeman, rides begin at the half-mile point of the track and can reach speeds in excess of 60 miles-per-hour.
For more information about all of the events being held at ORDA’s Olympic venues, log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia user.