Relive the glory: Lake Placid hosts events for the 1980 Olympics’ 40th anniversary

Forty years ago next month, the Adirondack village of Lake Placid in upper New York State hosted the 13th Olympic Winter Games. The heroics of the U.S. men’s hockey team’s improbable win over the Russians and speed skater Eric Heiden’s five gold medals made the 1980 games one for the ages.

Starting Feb. 14, the Lake Placid community will celebrate its legacy by hosting a full slate of activities that embody the Olympic spirit by re-creating the opening ceremony and torch lighting as well as skiing events with Olympic athletes.

As the site of North America’s first winter Olympics, in 1932, Lake Placid is one of only three cities worldwide to have hosted two Olympic Winter Games. Since then it has played host to annual winter world championship events and other large-scale sporting competitions.

This small village of 3,400 has an unmatched Olympic legacy. It has sent at least one athlete to every winter games and in total has sent more than l00 athletes to compete since the first modern winter games in l924. The original rinks from l932 and 1980 seat 2,600 and 8,500 people for events.

Visitors can experience the glory and excitement of the Olympics by touring the Olympic complex and museum. In the building where the 1980 hockey game took place, the museum features videos, interactive displays, graphics and historic artifacts. It’s fascinating to relive one of the greatest sports moments of the 20th century while watching original footage of the game.

It was here that 20-year-old Sonja Henie won the gold medal in l932 and charmed the world. She helped transform ice skating into entertainment art. Herb Brooks Arena, named for the coach of the 1980 gold medal U.S. hockey team, hosts skating competitions and Saturday night ice shows.

The museum, open l0 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is on Main Street next to the arena. Entrance is free with an Olympic Sites Passport available at the Olympic Center box office.

1980 was an extraordinary year for U.S. athletes, and Lake Placid was at the center of it all. The eyes of the world were on the hockey game that will always be remembered as the “Miracle on Ice.” The U.S victory rallied the entire nation as the U.S. team managed to defeat the best teams in the world. The U.S. team was a group of college players who had only been practicing together for six months. They beat the Soviets 4-3 and Finland 4-2 in the exciting final to capture the gold medal.

Preservation is a key museum core value. The original jackets, hockey sticks and other equipment of the players are displayed. Henie’s costumes and skates are also on view.

Anniversary activities kick off with the opening ceremony Feb. 14. The torch run by 1980 Games torchbearers and local athletes will be followed by the 1980 Olympic cauldron lighting. Other events include:
• A meet and greet with medalist Dan Jansen.
• Learning the biathlon, curling and luge from athletes and coaches.
• Screening of the Disney movie “Miracle on Ice” at the Palace Theatre.
• Cross-country or downhill skiing.
• A 1980s Family Fun Party at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
• A Fun Zone is scheduled each day between 4 and 6 p.m. on Main Street, where visitors can enjoy hot chocolate, s’mores and games. Restaurants, bars and shops will get in the spirit with live music and events.
Lake Placid is a five-hour drive north of New York City. For information, visit lakeplacid.com.

Published at Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:20:04 +0000

Source: Relive the glory: Lake Placid hosts events for the 1980 Olympics’ 40th anniversary.

Categories: Travel

About Author