The 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron in Lake Placid will be lit Friday, Feb. 7, as the Adirondack region gears up to celebrate this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The public is encouraged to attend this free ceremony, which is intended to both commemorate Lake Placid and the Adirondacks’ Olympic heritage and to honor the region’s many local athletes who have represented Team USA in the past, and those who will compete in Sochi, Russia.
Following the 6 p.m. lighting, Olympians and other runners are invited to join the torch run on a route from the Flame Cauldron at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds, down Route 73 then along Main Street. The procession will end at Mid’s Park, where a smaller, portable Empire State Winter Games cauldron will be lit. That cauldron will continue to burn throughout the Empire State Winter Games and throughout the competition at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. » Continue Reading.
Lake Placid officials have announced a series of programs and events that celebrate the international spirit of the Olympic Winter Games and Lake Placid’s robust winter sports heritage leading up to and during the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Village of Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Business Association (LPBA), the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) have collaborated to lead the community in celebrating its Olympic pride and the Sochi Games. » Continue Reading.
USA Luge, the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, and the U.S. Nordic teams will begin to take shape when each of the federations hold their national team and U.S. national championship events beginning this weekend, Oct. 12-13, in Lake Placid.
The events will help each organization select its fall 2013 World Cup team. And for many of these athletes, this will be the first step towards perhaps making the Olympic team that will compete in February’s winter games in Sochi, Russia. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) will present the new documentary Ready to Fly which chronicles the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team’s fight to be recognized as an Olympic sport on Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 PM. Immediately following the film, members of the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team will take questions from the audience.
Ready to Fly follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van (not to be confused with apline skier Lindsey Vonn). Even though Van out-jumped the world’s best men at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic venue, the International Olympic Committee forbade women from competing in ski jumping, the only Winter Olympic discipline to do so. » Continue Reading.
Eleven organizations and four aspiring athletes from the Lake Placid region were awarded a combined total of $41,500 in grants from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund at an awards ceremony at Heaven Hill Farm last Sunday.
The Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund of Lake Placid makes awards to local athletes competing at the regional, national, and international levels. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit organizations that promote participation in life-long summer and winter sports for local kids, promoting a healthy lifestyle and athletic excellence. » Continue Reading.
The sliding track at Mt. van Hoevenberg, in Lake Placid, N.Y., is getting set to open, Monday, Oct. 15, (weather permitting) for national team training.
Workers have begun the process of chilling the concrete and laying down the ice on the 20-curve, mile-long track at the Olympic Sports Complex. The U.S. luge team will open the season when they take to the ice first thing that Monday morning, 9 a.m.-noon, followed the U.S. skeleton squad, from 3-5 p.m. and the bobsled team from 6:30-9 p.m.
The sliding center has seen its share of capital improvements this summer. Work was completed on the Lamy Lodge, which currently houses the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation’s (USBSF) Hall of Fame, and the combined track’s spectator deck on curve 19 was also expanded for better spectator viewing. » Continue Reading.
Athletes from more than 20 nations vied for the crown at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and the U.S. team has gained momentum towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games by medaling on their home track in a big way. The U.S. claimed five medals, including four gold, to mark the most successful World Championships for the program.
Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) made history with his USA-1 push crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) as the first U.S. pilot ever to sweep the two and four-man bobsled World Championship races held in Lake Placid. The U.S. also took gold in the team event during which women’s and men’s skeleton and women’s and men’s two-man bobsled athletes take one run each for a four-run combined time. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) claimed the 2012 World Championship bronze medal for women’s bobsled program on Friday. » Continue Reading.
Lake Placid is once again hosting the bobsled and skeleton World Championships through February 26. Athletes from more than 20 nations are vying for the crown at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and the U.S. team hopes to gain momentum towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games by medaling on their home track. Lake Placid’s own John Napier will compete in the four-man bobsled. “The World Championships are the pinnacle event of the season and a great gauge for our teams leading into the Olympic Games,” said Scott Novack, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation High Performance Director.
The two-time Olympic village has staged eight World Championship races. The most recent was in 2009 when Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) piloted his four-man bobsled to victory to claim the first title for the men since 1959, and Shauna Rohbock (Park City, Utah) earned silver to continue a history of success for the women’s program.
Competition begins with the first two heats of women’s bobsled at 9:30 am on Friday, Feb. 17. Men’s two-man begins at 9 am on Feb. 18, followed by the medal deciding heats of women’s bobsled at 5 pm. Men’s two-man finals will be held at 9 am on Feb. 19, and a team competition will also take place at 1:30 pm.
Racing will continue on Feb. 23 with the first two heats of women’s skeleton at 9:30 am, and the final heats will take place the following morning at 9:45 am. Men’s skeleton athletes take to the ice at 5 pm on Feb. 24 and wrap up at 5 pm on Feb. 25. Men’s four-man bobsled competition will take place at 9 am on Feb. 25, and will conclude the event with the final two heats at 9 am on Feb. 26.
Tickets for the World Championships can purchased by online, calling 518-523-3330, or at the gate day of the event.
The selection committee met yesterday to decide teams competing in World Championships. Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) will compete in the USA-1 sled. Langton was selected to compete with Holcomb in the two-man sled.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) will compete with Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) and either Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.) or Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) in the four-man sled, and Fogt will be Napier’s brakeman in the two-man sled.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) will pilot USA-3. The rookie driver will race with Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) in two-man, and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas), Robinson and either Beckom or Berkeley in four-man. Beckom and Berkeley will race off on Wednesday to determine if they will compete with USA-2 or USA-3 next weekend.
The U.S. will field three sleds in the women’s bobsled competition. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) will team with Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) in the KOA sled as USA-1, while Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) will partner in the Sliding for Hope sled as USA-2. Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) will compete with Ingrid Marcum (Elmhurst, Ill.) in the USA-3 FDNY sled to complete the roster.
Women’s skeleton athletes Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) both hold records on the Lake Placid track and will be threats for the podium. Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) are expected to set the pace in the men’s skeleton event.
Watch live streaming of all events on www.FIBT.com, or take the action with you by downloading the Digotel Live+ for iOS iPhone app. NBC Universal Sports will also broadcast events on the following dates, with times listed in EST: Women’s bobsled at 10 pm on Feb. 18th, men’s two-man bobsled at 6 pm on Feb. 19th, team competition at 5:30 pm on Feb. 23rd, women’s skeleton at 6 pm on Feb. 24th, men’s skeleton at 10 pm on Feb. 25th and men’s four-man bobsled at 6 pm on Feb. 25th.
A new discipline will be on the program in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi; an event that has been struggling for years to be included. Women’s Ski Jumping will finally be allowed in the Winter Olympic Games. On Wednesday, the IOC announced that it would add the event after previously ruling that the discipline had too few elite competitors to justify an Olympic berth. Another concern voiced was whether the physical demand of ski jumping was appropriate for female athletes, despite inclusion of women in traditionally male dominated sports like hockey, boxing, and wrestling. Before last year’s games in Vancouver, an appeal was brought to court on behalf of women ski jumpers against the organizers of the Games, VANOC. They claimed that not allowing women to ski jump in the Olympics was a form of gender discrimination in government activities. While a Canadian judge agreed that it was discriminatory and VANOC was subject to the same laws, it can’t change the events. The IOC is the authority on the events in the Olympics, and isn’t bound by Canadian law. Therefore, women were not allowed to ski jump in Vancouver. But it looks like they will be flying through the air in Sochi.
Still, some concessions were made; women are still unable to participate in team events, on the large hill in Olympic events, or in Nordic Combined. The President of the Women’s Ski Jumping Foundation would like to see those privileges extended to female athletes too. “Now that we can jump, that should be something that should follow,” she said to the New York Times.
Two engineers from Clarkson University will work to design a faster, more aerodynamic sled for the United States Luge Team, which it hopes to use at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Mechanical engineering professors Douglas G. Bohl and Brian Helenbrook will use computer models and wind tunnels to speed up the sled and reduce drag.
Bohl got involved after his now 13-year-old son tried out for the USA Luge development team last year. While traveling to the luge track in Lake Placid with his son each weekend, Bohl met sports programs director and two-time Olympic medalist Mark Grimmette, at which point he proposed the idea for a research project to reduce aerodynamic drag on the sled. “We’ve wanted to do this for years, but did not have the resources,” says Gordy Sheer, director of marketing and sponsorship for USA Luge. “We also needed someone who understood the sport and its nuances.”
“As athletes become better, equipment plays a bigger part in winning,” says Bohl. “I don’t know if there’s a ‘silver bullet,’ but I think we can make a difference.”
Luge is the only Winter Olympics gravity sport measured to 1/1000th of a second, so very small changes in drag can greatly affect times.
“We’ll build a computer model of a sled with a slider on it, compute the drag, examine the flow going past and finally put an actual sled in Clarkson’s wind tunnel to make drag measurements,” says Bohl.
Eventually, a sled will be built based on the Clarkson team’s research and taken to the low speed (sub-sonic) wind tunnel at the San Diego Air and Space Technology Center where USA Luge sleds are tested.
“We’re looking for evolution, not revolution,” says Sheer. “The Clarkson team will be looking at the aerodynamic shell and aerodynamic shape of the sled as a whole.”
Placid Boatworks, a custom canoe shop in Lake Placid, N.Y., builds the pods or shells, which act as a seat for the athletes. The kufens, which are the bridge between the steel runners and the pod, are hand carved from ash and wrapped in fiberglass.
“There is lots of artistry in luge sled design,” says Bohl. “Art will direct you to good solution through natural selection, but basic sled designs haven’t changed in 10 to 15 years. Scientists and engineers might be able to bring some new ideas into play.”
Bohl, Helenbrook and their team of students will receive no monetary compensation for their research.
“We won’t get technical papers or money out of this, but we’re helping the U.S. team,” says Bohl. “That’s a cool benefit of being at a University. It’s a lot of fun to do projects like this and Clarkson’s location near the Adirondacks and Lake Placid gives us the opportunity. We’re really excited.”
Photo: Douglas G. Bohl (right), a Clarkson University engineering professor, discusses luge design with Gordy Sheer, a 1998 Olympic silver medalist in luge and director of marketing and sponsorship for USA Luge.