Forty years ago, Lake Placid lit the Cauldron, signifying the beginning of the XIII Olympic Winter Games. The 1980 Winter Games have long been remembered for the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team’s improbable win over the Russians, known as the “Miracle on Ice,” speed skater Eric Heiden’s five gold medals, in World or Olympic record time; and the United States figure skating team, dubbed the “Dream Team.”
The Cauldron will be re-lit on Friday, February 14th as Lake Placid celebrates 40 years since it hosted the games. The celebration and lighting of the anniversary flame will begin at 5 pm with a torch run and parade down Lake Placid’s Main Street where several of the Lake Placid Games’ volunteers joined by past, present and future Olympians will take turns carrying the flame, given to them by actual Games’ torchbearers.
Following the parade, just as they did 40 years ago, the 1980 Games’ torchbearers will carry the flame to the North Elba Show Grounds to begin the anniversary lighting ceremony. The event, which begins at 5:45 pm, will be held on the exact same site as the Opening Ceremony, and highlight the region’s heritage through speeches and presentations from the International Olympic Committee and local, state and national representatives. A fireworks display will cap the evening.
The torch run and lighting of the anniversary Cauldron is followed by a week of events celebrating the Games. The village including the Olympic venues will be participating in the community-wide celebration and more than 20 Olympians will participate in events available to the public.
A sampling of public events throughout the week of February 13-23 include skating with Olympic medalist Scott Hamilton at a Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer, a meet and greet with Olympic speedskater medalist Dan Jansen; Dream On, The 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Figure Skating Reunion Gala and more.
A full schedule is available online.
Photos, from above: 1980 Miracle on Ice, and 1980 Whiteface Olympic Trail Map provided by ORDA.