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Olympic Venues in the Adirondacks
Every two years, the world gathers together at Olympic venues to celebrate and recognize the fastest, the strongest and the most talented athletes. The hosting country organizes a spectacular pre-game show, honoring and commemorating not only the very first Olympics from Athens, Greece - but also rejoicing in their own culture and traditions. It is a time when peace and festivity reign throughout the world…this is the true spirit of the Olympics!
In 1932 and again in 1980 the world's attention was focused on the Adirondack town of Lake Placid when this hamlet hosted the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. Figure skater Sonja Henie won her second gold medal here during the first U.S. Olympic Games, which put her on the way to a long movie career. And every hockey fan knows about the "Miracle on Ice" when the 1980 U.S. Hockey team pulled off one of the biggest sports upsets in history by defeating the Soviet Union.
And today the Olympic venues in the Lake Placid Region are still just as significant and breathtaking. In 2000 the area hosted the Goodwill Games. Visitors from all over the world travel to the Lake Placid area, not just to take tours of the colossal venues and relive the olympic venues history, but to actually experience first hand the same ice rinks, ski slopes and bobsled runs used by Olympians!
When you are in Lake Placid don’t forget to visit the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum! The museum opened in 1994 and is the only Olympic museum in the United States. It is located within the Olympic center and contains memorabilia from both the 1932 & 1980 winter Olympic Games that were held in Lake Placid. The Olympic torch also traveled through the museum in 2002 prior to the games in Salt Lake City.
Lake Placid NY Olympic Venues
Nestled within the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is not only the home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics; it is also a beautiful place that boasts spectacular views and an abundance of recreational activities for the whole family. The Olympic venues are broken into four geographical areas that are open throughout the year for sightseeing and recreation.
Olympic Center – Downtown Lake Placid
This facility is home to the ice sports. It's four indoor and one outdoor skating rinks provide a haven for hockey players, speed skaters and figure skaters. All of these activities can be seen today as the Olympic Sports Center hosts a wide variety of shows, events, classes and sports camps. The Olympic Speed Skating Oval is open to the public on a daily basis during the winter. For sports historians, the Olympic Museum features changing exhibits, video booths plus the craft and equipment used by some of the world's greatest athletes.
Whiteface Mountain – Wilmington (9 miles from Lake Placid)
A short scenic drive from Lake Placid are the famous downhill skiing slopes that have challenged Olympic champions and continue to challenge Olympic hopefuls. But, with 76 trails, there is lots of room for novice skiers, a separate mountain area for kids and beginners, and a super pipe for snow boarders. During the winter season, the hub of activity is in the Lake Placid/Olympic Venue region - with thousands of skiers flocking to the mountain for fun and competitive sport.
Olympic Sports Complex – Mt. Van Hoevenberg (5 miles from Lake Placid)
At the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex, you can do more than just imagine. All levels of cross country skiing trails are based here and you can even take lessons to become a biathlete. And if you are looking for more adventures, take a bobsled ride! For a slower pace, try snow shoeing.
Ski Jumping Complex — North Elba (2 miles from Lake Placid)
The center pieces of the complex are the 90 and 120 meter ski jumps that tower above the trees around them. The sky deck on the 120 meter jump affords breathtaking views of Mt. Marcy — the highest peak in the State of New York, the John Brown Farm historic site and the beauty of the Adirondack wilderness. The sky deck is accessible by chairlift and elevator.
Nordic jumping training and competition take place here year round. And the Freestyle Aerial Training Center is located steps away from the base of the jump towers. You can watch skiers practicing their aerial acrobatics year round — in the summer landing in a 750,000 gallon pool!
The Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds are located directly across the street from the ski jump area. The 1980 Olympic cauldron is located on this site.
During the Summer months, thrilling mountain biking can be experienced at Whiteface Mountain and the Olympic Sports Center. Wheeled bobsledding, nature hiking, and scenic gondola rides are also available. In the fall visitors can take the world class Whiteface Gondola or drive up Veteran's Memorial Highway to get the full effect of the fall colors!
Come to the Adirondack Region of Upstate New York, stay at a one of the many Lake Placid hotels and visit the Olympic Venues!