Posts Tagged ‘Lake Placid’

Monday, March 22, 2010

US Alpine Skiing Championships at Whiteface

US Olympians and novice skiers alike raced in this weekend’s 2010 US Alpine Skiing Championships, held at Whiteface Mountain March 20th-23rd.

In the women’s Super G event, Keely Kelleher had the fastest time and skiing bib one. The men’s Super G winner was Travis Ganong, leading the group from the beginning and winning his second US Championship in 2010.

The winner in the women’s slalom championship today was Sarah Schleper, proving that she is still one of the US’s top alpine ski racers. Her two-run time was 2 minutes 03.67 seconds. Schleper was happy with the experience: “I’m here to hang out with my younger teammates and maybe win a title, so this title is really icing on a hard two years, but a lot of fun.” Schleper is a four time Olympian.

Tommy Ford was the men’s slalom champion, finishing with a two-run time of 2:02.17. After celebrating his 21st birthday yesterday, the victory was icing on the cake for the young racer: “I just turned it on the second run, I’ve turned it on at the end of the year, that’s what I’ve been doing the last few years….even in sixth place I didn’t let up, I knew that not everyone can ski this stuff, I had hope at the top because I had the experience and others haven’t skied it as much.” A Dartmouth college freshman, Ford is a 2010 Olympian in Giant Slalom. He was also the overall winner in the combined event, which combines yesterday’s Super G event and today’s slalom event.

Racing will continue on Monday 3/22 with the men’s Giant Slalom, and on Tuesday 3/23 with the women’s Giant Slalom.

For complete event results, visit http://www.whiteface.com/events/alpine/schedule.php

Photo: Women’s slalom podium (l-r) Erin Mielzynski, Sarah Schleper and Hailey Duke at the 2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain outside of Lake Placid, NY (Doug Haney/U.S. Ski Team)


Monday, March 22, 2010

NCAA Men’s Hockey Division III Championship

Walking down Main St in Lake Placid this weekend was a test to your fan loyalty. There were proud fathers sporting their son’s or daughter’s college-logo on their sweatshirt or jacket, anxious mom’s wondering if this game is where her son gets hurt, and clamorous younger siblings caught up in the hype. No, it’s not home-coming weekend on a nearby campus. It’s the NCAA College Hockey Tournament for Division III Colleges, and it’s played-out in the streets, restaurants, and Herb Brooks Arena here in Lake Placid.

The 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena (named after the Miracle on Ice coach) lived up again to it’s emotion-wrenching atmosphere Saturday evening as it hosted the semifinal, and Championship games.

Teams that made the trip to this “Final Four” Tournament were Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.), Saint Norbert University(De Pere, Wisc.), Plattsburgh State (NY) and Oswego State (NY). This is a fine representation of the “powerhouse” that the Div. III teams makeup.

The first battle Friday was between Plattsburgh State and Norwich which was a very tight game but our own Plattsburgh State lost to Norwich 3-2.

The second game of the day was between Oswego State and St Norbert. Again a tight, higher scoring game with many go-ahead goals that were quickly answered with tying goals. But Oswego St. fell short losing 4-3

So it came down to the final game Saturday evening, and as I scanned the fans filling the seats to capacity I could still see many Oswego State shirts, and Plattsburgh State hats on many fans. It’s evident that hockey fans hold loyal to their teams but when you get some great college hockey played locally you stick around the whole weekend.

Now growing up in Buffalo, NY and watching the Buffalo Sabres hockey, I’ve seen my share of emotional games on the ice (and on the football field, but that’s another story) but this championship game between returning Norwich University and St. Norbert has all the markings of a truly historic game.

It took two overtime periods to settle this game. Each overtime being 20 minutes, added an additional heart tugging to all the emotionally exhausted parents and fans in the seats.

With a close game during regulation periods, one could only imagine the emotions on the team benches. Both goalies were superb in net and a strong offense on both sides tested those goalies every period and each only allowed one goal in.

But soon, after 100 minutes of playing, the lengthy game took it’s toll on players and I could see them slowing down, but still hanging in there. Finally in the second overtime Norwich U. slipped the puck in to take the NCAA Div III Championship.

What a great game for a great hockey weekend. On that note I will mention how packed Lake Placid sidewalks were with hockey fans and players of all ages both Friday and Saturday. To top off the festivities of the weekend, there was a a stage set-up in the large parking lot in Lake Placid, where the Zambonis played music to a cold but large audience. Fireworks capped off the evening under cloudy, snow-threatening skies.

Photo Credit-NCAA Hockey-Wikipedia


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Art Exhibition: The Question of Mountains

511 Gallery Lake Placid will present a group exhibition March 26–April 20 entitled “The Question of Mountains”—paintings, drawings and photographs that focus on the subject of mountains, created by artists ranging from the Hudson River School through the early and mid-twentieth century, and up to the contemporary period. Following are more details from a gallery announcement:

“The mountains are calling, and I must go,” said the naturalist John Muir. For those of us who live year-round or seasonally in the Adirondacks and those who make annual or several-times-a-year pilgrimages to this landscape, the “call” remains a compelling one. It has been so throughout the ages.

Work by several of the artists in The Question of Mountains address the Adirondacks, such as Whiteface Mountain (1873) by Sylvester Hodgdon, or Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid (ca. 1878) by George W. Waters, or Untitled (Mountain Stream), (ca. 1980) by Sarah Jaffe; but the meanings and import of other mountains are brought to life in the exhibition as well: Scottish artist Lesley Punton explores the top of the highest peak in her country’s Munro range in the series of ink on paper works, The Extent of Snow: Ben Lomond, Winter into Spring (2006) and photographer Ansel Adams, comes close to defining the sublime in Tetons and the Snake River (1942).

Additional artists and “their” mountains include William Crosby (Mt. Mansfield in Vermont and Denali in Alaska); Viviane Silvera (Green Mountains outside Hong Kong); Alex Schuchard (the Rockies in Colorado); Chris Dunker (Utah ); and James Burnett and Jennifer Odem, two artists who work, individually, within the genre of “mountains of the imagination,”

The opening reception for The Question of Mountains will be held on Friday, March 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery at 2461 Main Street.

For further information, contact Janice Thomas at 511 Gallery.

2461 Main Street, The Wilkins Building
Lake Placid NY 12946 USA
[tel] 518 523 7163 [fax] 518 523 3949

5 1 1 G A L L E R Y
252 Seventh Avenue, Suite 12J
New York NY 10001 USA
[tel] 212 255 2885 [fax] 212 255 6518

“Mt. Mansfield, Vermont” by Plattsburgh artist Bill Crosby, courtesy of 511 Gallery


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Open Mic, Musicals, Jam Bands and Acoustic

Thursday, March 18th:

In Saranac Lake, Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios starts at 7:30 pm, sign up is at 7 pm. Admission is $3.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical will be performed at LPCA. It starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $10 for adults $8 for students.

Friday, March 19th:

In Tupper Lake, Annie will be performed by the high school musical club. Admission is $7.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA.

Saturday, March 20th:

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA at 11 am.

In Saranac Lake Roy Hurd will perform for the benefit of the Northern Lights School at 7 pm. The benefit is at BluSeed Studios and includes a silent auction, tickets are $15. Call: 891 – 3206 for more information.

In Tupper Lake, Annie at the high school at 7 pm. Admission is $7.

In Saranac Lake, Melvin Seals and JGB will be at The Waterhole starting at 9 pm.

In Canton, Roots of Creation will be performing at the Java Barn starting at 9 pm.

In North Creek, Dreaded Wheat is at Laura’s Tavern at 9 pm.

Photo: Melvin Seals


Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 US Alpine Championships Preview

March 20th through 23rd, the 2010 US Alpine Championships will be held at Whiteface Mountain. The host town of Lake Placid is prepared to welcome the athletes, including recent Olympians from Vancouver.

Olympians competing at the competition include three-time medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, Calif.), 2006 gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) , Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah), Jimmy Cochran (Keene, N.H.), Will Brandenburg (Spokane, Wash.), Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.), Nolan Kasper (Warren, Vt.), Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, Colo.), Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, Calif.), Leanne Smith (Conway, N.H.), Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, Vt.), Hailey Duke (Boise, Idaho), Megan McJames (Park City, Utah), Kaylin Richardson (Edina, Minn.) and Sarah Schleper (Vail, Colo.).

A notable name is missing from this line-up- Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht. After winning a bronze medal in the Super G event at Vancouver, Weibrecht dislocated his shoulder. Still, he anticipates being at the event to cheer on his teammates- “It would have been perfect to wrap up my competition year at home, but I’ll still be there to support my teammates and the hundreds of racers from across the country gunning for U.S. bragging rights.”

The US Alpine Championships is an opportunity for young racers as well as seasoned veterans to race for National titles. Whiteface Mountain also hosted the event in 2003, when lack of snow in Alyeska, Alaska motivated the Olympic Regional Development Authority to pick up the races.

On Saturday March 20th, an Opening Ceremonies celebration will be held in Lake Placid. For more information, visit http://www.whiteface.com/events/alpine/index.php.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Pictures from the Parade for Local Olympians

Nine Olympians from Lake Placid and Saranac Lake were welcomed home like heroes and friends in Saranac Lake this afternoon. Here are some of the photographs we took. It was a great event. Congratulations, all.

Here is a link to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise story, with wonderful photos. Super Nancie Battaglia photos are mixed with her Olympic shots on NCPR’s site.

Photograph of Ursula Trudeau of Saranac Lake carrying an Olympic boquet replica


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Local Residents, Adirondack Council Interns, Olympians

For the interest of our readers, here is a note from the Adirondack Council about the their connection to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Two former Council interns, Lowell Bailey and Haley Johnson, both from Lake Placid, competed in the biathlon. The Council’s note to the media is presented here in it’s entirety:

Two former Adirondack Council Clarence Petty Interns are competing on the US Biathlon Team at the 2010 games. Lowell Bailey and Haley Johnson, both of Lake Placid, both successfully completed their internships — earning college credit while working in the field of conservation and while training for this Olympics. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 22, 2010

30 Years of The Empire State Winter Games

In 1978, the first Empire State Summer Games were held at Syracuse University. In 1981, Lake Placid hosted the 1st Empire State Winter Games, in which amateur winter athletes from the state of New York can compete in winter sports such as ice hockey, figure skating, skiing, speed skating, and more. The Empire State Games celebrated their 30th Anniversary in Lake Placid this past weekend.

Each year in February athletes of any age compete at events held at the Olympic venues in the Lake Placid. The State Games in general give the athlete an experience similar to the Olympics- they can participate in Opening Ceremonies in the Olympic Center (during which the “Empire State Games” torch is lit), receive their own warm up suit and hat, and compete in Olympic Style competition. The sports include adapted skiing, alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsled, cross country skiing, figure skating, women’s ice hockey, luge, skeleton, skier cross, snowboard cross, ski orienteering, snowshoe racing, ski jumping, and short track speed skating. The Games are conducted by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation.

Athletes compete in the Empire State Games for the thrill of competition, and also for the chance to compete in the State Games of America. Held biennially, the State Games of America are held in various locations in the United States, which are selected by a bid process. In 2009 the State Game of America were held in Colorado Springs, Colorado; in 2011, they will take place in San Diego, California.

For more information on the Empire State Winter Games or the State Games Organization, visit their websites at http://www.empirestategames.org/winter/index.htm and http://www.stategames.org/.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Great Vocalists, Big Band, Jazz and Classical

Were I to be in the area this week, I wouldn’t miss Annie and the Hedonists at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center on Saturday. This downstate bluesy folk band makes fantastic song choices and has a fabulous vocalist.

Another performance I would do my best to make is in North Creek, where wonderful vocalist is Maddy Walsh playing with Mike Suave at barVino, where I hear the food and ambiance alone are worth the trip. Here’s what we have to look forward to in the week ahead:

Thursday, February 18th:

In Canton, Open Mic at The Blackbird Cafe. This is a continuing talent contest and it starts at 7 pm.

Friday, February 19th:

In Potsdam, “An Evening with Elvis” with impersonator Joe Angerosa. The performance will be held at The Old Snell Auditorium starting at 6 pm with a $5 cover.

In Jay, JEMS Coffee House Series features Jazz Saxaphonist, Jonathan Lorentz. The performance is from 7 – 9 pm at The Amos and Julia Ward Theatre.

In Potsdam, The Count Basie Orchestra will perform from 7:30 – 9:30 pm. They will be at the Helen Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam.

Saturday, February 20th:

In Lake Placid, Annie and the Hedonists will be performing at 8 pm. They will be at The Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center. They are a very good band.

In Ausable Forks, Capital Zen plays at 20 Main. Show starts at 9 pm.

In North Creek, Fingerdiddle performs at Laura’s Tavern starting at 9 pm. I know nothing about these folks except that they must have been liked because they’ve been asked back to the same venue within the same month. That’s a good sign.

In Lake Placid, Raisonhead is at Zig Zags starting at 9 pm.

Sunday, February 21st:

In Potsdam, The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD Encore of “Der Rosenkavalier” . This held at the Roxy Theater from 1-5:30 pm.

In North Creek,Suave and Maddy play barVino. They’re on from 5 – 7 pm.

Wednesday, February 24th:

In Canton, The Manhattan Piano Trio will play at St. Lawrence University from 7 pm. Free admission at The Underground.

Photo: Annie and Jonny of Annie and the Hedonists.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Tour the Luge

The Olympic Winter Games are well underway and we are breaking the no television during the school week rule under the guise of educational purposes. I do not personally know anyone participating in the winter games, past or present. I can certainly claim six degrees of separation as can anyone else living in the Tri-Lakes area of the Adirondack Park. Those athletes, like all Olympians, are consumed with their sport. Every walking hour is spent traveling, training, and pursuing perfection.

I have tried to educate my son on how lucky he is to live near a town that hosted the 1932 and 1980 games. He shrugs his shoulders and asks when he can skate on the Olympic Oval or nonchalantly tells our extended family he (yawn) tried a ski jumping clinic at the Whiteface Olympic Jumping Complex. It is hard to describe to a child the privilege of being in an area where athletes are constantly training so that they can represent their country in a quest for the gold. For mine it is an everyday occurrence.

USA Luge Marketing Director Gordy Sheer is no stranger to the Olympics. He and luge partner Chris Thorpe won a silver medal in the Nagano Olympics in 1998. This was the first medal ever won by a US luge competitor.

Sheer says, “We try to host Luge Challenges throughout the season. It’s essentially luge on ski hills. We use a recreational sled that isn’t fiberglass and steel. It doesn’t weigh as much as the regular sled. Basically it is an opportunity to experience the sport in a family-friendly environment. We also keep our eyes open for any kids that show potential.”

According to Sheer another opportunity to achieve this particular Olympic experience is through the Slider Search. These events are conducted on city streets in the summer months with sleds on wheels. The USA Luge Official web site has an up-to-date schedule of events.

The USA Luge team, headquartered in Lake Placid, gives free tours of their facility every weekday at 2:00 p.m. This week the Olympic luge team and most of the staff are in Vancouver supporting their athletes so tours will resume the week of the 22nd.

Considering it is the official headquarters for the US Luge, it is an unassuming structure, more warehouse than office building. It’s a casual tour where athletes may be fine-tuning their sleds or watching videos of individual practice starts.

The tour starts with a 20-minute introduction video that can jump-start anyone’s luge education. The movie is just as fast and furious as the sport. The indoor facility, the only one in the US and one of seven in the world, is quite impressive. Athletes use three refrigerated ramps to improve their start techniques with the latest technology, shaving milliseconds off their time. There is even an opportunity to try out a practice sled (not to slide on) and find out how to steer using your legs to squeeze on the curved part of the runners (kufen), to direct the pod, the custom-formed fiberglass shell.

For those that have tried luge and want to continue sliding the Adirondack Luge Club may be the place for you. The club season starts in January and continues through March. Membership and track fees do apply. Practices take place on the Olympic Sports Complex Slide Track, one of only two refrigerated full-length tracks in the United States. The other one is located in Park City, Utah.

The Luge Rocket Ride is only available Christmas Day for anyone wishing for an opportunity to slide on the official training track without having to join the club. The sled is slightly different than the competitors’ sleds. It contains a shield that covers three-quarters of the slider’s body. Yes, it looks like a small space ship for the 1/4-mile ride. All participants must be 13 years or older.

We will watch the luge team from the comfort of our home. The women’s singles medal round is today, February 16 at 4:00 p.m. EST. The men’s doubles medal round is February 17 at 8:00 p.m. EST. After all, we can build a luge track outside the house. Why not? Last year we had a bobsled run.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Online

On Friday, February 12th the Winter Olympic Games started in Vancouver, Canada. The day after, in Lake Placid, the Olympic Torch was lit to commemorate the 1980 Olympics that took place there 30 years ago. At the Vancouver Games, there are several athletes representing Lake Placid and the Adirondack region, including Bill Demong, Andrew Weibrecht, Peter Frenette, and more. Luckily, for the casual fan, there are many ways to keep in touch with what is happening with your favorite athletes.

One of the latest crazes in technology is the 140-character phenomenon known as Twitter. Many celebrities and businesses, in addition to everyday folks, use the web service to update what is happening in their lives. Now Olympic athletes use the Twitter service as well to keep us in the loop during the Games- for a list of the athletes who are “Tweeting”, check out this list.

Olympic fans can also follow the action at the Olympics at the following sites: Team USA News; NBC Olympic site; Vancouver 2010 site; and Google Maps. Team USA news is a site that allows fans to receive updates on the team, as well as donate and promote the Olympics through social media sites. Both NBC Olympics and the Vancouver 201o site offer news, photos, and videos from the Games. Google maps, which is known more for finding street addresses all over the globe, take it one step further for the Olympics by providing a glimpse of the Olympic venues.

Enjoy the Games and Go Team USA!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Biathlon

With the amount of local talent being sent to the Vancouver Olympics this weekend, I feel it is only fair to make sure my children get as much Olympic exposure as possible. Since Lake Placid has generously hosted the Olympics twice, it is no hardship for anyone entering the Park to get on their Olympic Spirit.

For those wishing to achieve a bit of instant gratification, on February 12-13 the Lake Placid Biathlon Club with the Saratoga, Syracuse, and Western NY Biathlon Clubs is hosting the North American Championship Cup 5 (NorAM) in cooperation with the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).

According to Rick Costanza, President for the Lake Placid Biathlon Club, there will be about 50-75 competitors this weekend in a variety of events.

The NorAM’s will be a good introduction to the sport and observers are encouraged. Costanza advises observers to pull into the Bobsled Parking lot of the Olympic Sports Complex and it is just a short walk to the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Biathlon Range. Races will begin at 10:00 a.m. The 1st day (Feb 12) is a Sprint (10K) and a Pursuit format on the 13th.

“Most people like to watch the shooting. There is a nice sloping hill where people can observe the shooting range,” Costanza says. “One thing we drill into the kids is safety. Biathlon is challenging. The skiing is aggressive and then you have to switch gears to marksmanship. The shooting is more Zen. This sport is one of the best uses of firearms we have. It teaches kids a lot of good habits in a strict environment.”

For those that wish to observe the sport from the comfort of their own home, Lowell Bailey and Haley Johnson of Lake Placid and Tim Burke of Paul Smiths are part of the US Biathlon National Team and 2010 US Olympic Team. These local competitors are blogging and writing about their Olympic experiences. It is certainly an amazing opportunity for any young adult or child to realize that dreams can come true.

The Vancouver Olympic Biathlon roster will consist of the following: Men’s 7.5K Relay, the Women’s 6K Relay, Men’s 10K Sprint, Women’s 7.5K Sprint, Men’s 12.5K Pursuit, Women’s 10K Pursuit, Men’s 15K Mass Start, Women’s 12.5K Mass Start, Men’s 20K Individual, and the Women’s 15K Individual.

According to the Olympic Biathlon Organization, Biathlon is said to be of Greek origin meaning “two contests” combining the endurance of long distance skiing and control of sharp shooting.

It originated with hunters as a means of providing food during long skiing expeditions. Gradually the sport became an alternative means of military training for Scandinavian border patrol. The first competition took place in Norway around 1776. Since then it has become the modern day demonstration sport of cross-country skiing and precision target shooting.

A biathlon is divided into both standing and prone target shooting positions. Each participant must ski a specific distance, shoot from the shooting lanes and then continue skiing. Throughout all, the athlete is required to carry a rifle in a sling. Typically five targets are required during each stop. 100% accuracy is required. Either a time penalty or penalty loop is given for each target missed.

The Sprint is a timed event skied over three laps with the athlete shooting twice at any shooting lane, once prone and once standing for a total of 10 shots. In the Pursuit the starts are staggered and based on a previous race so the individual crossing the finish line first wins. The Relay consists four athletes skiing one leg of three laps with two shooting rounds. The Individual is another timed event usually skied over five laps with the athlete shooting four times with penalties given for each missed target.

If just observing Biathlon isn’t enough, ORDA offers individuals the opportunity to become a biathlete at the Olympic Sports Complex with a freestyle skiing lesson and (under strict supervision) take a shot (I couldn’t let that pass) at the target range. This particular exercise is available most Saturdays and holiday weeks at a cost of $33.00.

photo used with permission from Marque Moffett.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lake Placid to Celebrate 1980 Games With Events

If you can’t make to the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Lake Placid will be hosting a 30th anniversary celebration of the 1980 XIII Olympic Winter Games February 12th to 28th. The event will feature a competition in which families will go head to head in alpine skiing/snowboarding, biathlon target shooting, bobsled, curling, hockey skills, and speedskating. The inaugural Gold Medal Games Family Edition will also feature a torch run, opening ceremonies, and medals and awards. Sporting events will be held in the same venues that were used during the 1980 winter games when the U.S. hockey team stunned the world winning by beating the Soviet Union and Eric Heiden won five Olympic speedskating gold medals.

“That was an incredible moment in history, not only for Lake Placid, but for the entire country,” noted Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) president/CEO Ted Blazer. “Those Games will forever be remembered for overcoming the impossible, whether, it’s a small Upstate New York village hosting the world’s largest sporting event, or the U.S. hockey team defeating the heavily favored former-Soviet Union on their way to gold. And who can forget what Eric accomplished in speedskating or what Phil Mahre did in the alpine events. Moments and memories like these only come around once in a lifetime.”

Here is more from the press release announcing the events:

The 1980 torch will be re-lit on Saturday, Feb. 13. On Sunday, Feb. 14, visitors can embrace the greatest moment in American sports history with an opportunity to watch Disney’s “Miracle” in the 1980 Olympic arena, the same arena where the U.S. Olympic hockey team stunned the former-Soviet Union before beating Finland on their way to the gold medal. The movie, starring Kurt Russell as the legendary U.S. team coach Herb Brooks, begins at 8:30 p.m., preceded by the debut of “Small Town, Big Dreams,” at 7 p.m. Other Olympic themed movies will be shown throughout the two-week celebration in the Olympic Museum.

Additional activities will include a viewing of the NHL’s Stanley Cup, also in the Olympic Museum, Sunday, Feb. 14, toboggan races, fireworks and family style celebrations on Mirror Lake.

For more information on the 30th Anniversary of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games, visit www.whitefacelakeplacid.com/family.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Good Curling

Curling is a game rooted in history. The name refers to the rotation the game piece or “stone” takes as it spirals along the ice. The “rock” will curve (curl) depending on the direction the rock spins.

Traced back to 16th century Scotland, the game called Curling was brought to North American 200 years later by Scottish soldiers. It is commonly referred to as “chess on ice” due to the subtle finesse and strategy required of its players.

According to Historic Saranac Lake curling got an early start in the Tri-Lakes when the Pontiac Bay and Pines Curling Clubs was formed around 1897. These two clubs later combined to form the Saranac Lake Curling Club.

During its heyday the Saranac Lake Curling Club held numerous competitions on the national and international level. Curling made its first Olympic appearance in Chamonix and was a demonstration sport during the 1932, 1936, 1964, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. It wasn’t until the 1998 Nagano games that curling became an official Olympic sport.

In 1943, due to wartime economic reasons curling waned in popularity and the Saranac Lake Curling Club closed. It wasn’t until Ed and Barbara Brandt came to Lake Placid in 1981 and started the Lake Placid Curling Club that the Adirondack tradition was resurrected. Over twenty-five years later, the Lake Placid Curling Club is going strong and continues to grow and promote the sport.

On Saturday, February 6, the Lake Placid Curling Club will present a demonstration during the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival on Lake Flower, near the original site of the 18th century Pontiac Curling Club. A bagpiper will escort the players from the Saranac Lake Free Library to the state boat launch on Lake Flower. Game play is at 11:00 a.m.

According to Amber McKernan, membership secretary for the Lake Placid Curling Club (LPCC) the sport is not only competitive but also social. “We travel to other curling clubs and are always interested in new members. We had a very successful Learn to Curl event in the fall. We recently welcomed two young members, both teenagers, to the club,” she says. The LPCC curls on Sunday evenings at the USA Rink of the Olympic Center.

For those not in the know: skip is not a person’s name, but the captain of the team. The skip is the only team member allowed in the house (the circular scoring area with a bull’s eye center) so he/she can direct the stone’s delivery. One doesn’t throw the stone but deliveries it to the house. A team is known as a rink and consists of four players: lead, second, vice-skip, and skip. A game usually consists of eight ends (similar to an inning in baseball.) The end is completed when all the stones have been delivered to one end. A competitor curls the stone by causing the stone to curve strategically toward the scoring area and gets the closest to the center of the circle. Only one team (rink) can score per end. One point is awarded for each stone closer to the center than the opponent’s.

What was traditionally a smooth rock is now a polished circular-shaped granite “stone” that meets the requirements of the World Curling Federation. Weighing in at 42 pounds, each stone’s path is steered by players sweeping a path in front, reducing the friction and increasing the stone’s peed.

Similar to golf, another Scottish game, curling has as many rules on etiquette as it does on play. For example each bonspiel (tournament) starts and ends with a handshake wishing the opposing team “good curling.”

So whether you choose to watch curling from the comfort of your own home, at the Vancouver Olympics or watch a demonstration of a local club, enjoy a sport formed of good sportsmanship, skill and tradition.

photo of the Lake Placid Curling Club on Lake Flower used with permission of www.adkfamilytime.com


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2010 Lake Placid Ironman Seeks Volunteers

The 2010 Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon is seeking volunteers for the July 25, 2010 race. About 2,000 athletes and nearly 4,000 volunteers take part in what organizers say is Placid’s largest one-day annual event, generating “a direct economic impact of about $8 million for Essex County.” “In addition to the days surrounding the actual race,” a recent press release extolled, “a large number of the participants make multiple pre-race visits in preparation for the event, greatly enhancing the overall revenue generated.” Kathy Pfohl, volunteer director, says that two-thirds of the volunteers are from outside the region.

There is a tiered management system in place in order to organize the large numbers of volunteers. As volunteer director, Pfohl is responsible for overseeing the entire volunteer effort (as part of her job at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism or ROOST). There are approximately 80 captains who manage their respective “team” of volunteers, which can number from one to 200 individuals. Each captain is responsible for the coordination of the schedules, locations and communication with their team of volunteers, to ensure that they are in their places on race day.

For 2010, there are several captain positions open. “Captains enjoy a number of perks, including the opportunity to earn a monetary donation of $750 for their qualifying group from the Community Fund,” according to the press release.

Those interested in a captain’s position and/or the Community Fund should contact Kathy Pfohl at [email protected] or at the ROOST office at 523.2445 x110. Online registration for all volunteer positions is located at www.ironmanlakeplacid.com.



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