Olympic athletes, state government officials, members of the boards of directors of both the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, staff, construction partners, and friends of the Museum gathered Wednesday night at the Olympic Center lobby in Lake Placid to celebrate the completion of the Olympic Center and opening of the newly re-imagined Lake Placid Olympic Museum.
With larger, re-designed spaces, interactive exhibits, athlete stories, and previously unseen videos, the new Museum provides visitors with an inspiring and immersive experience that brings the past 100 years of winter sports history and Lake Placid’s extraordinary Olympic Legacy into sharp focus. A new website with a brand identity has simultaneously launched.
The evening’s festivities included a countdown to the first-ever lighting of the 1980 Olympic rings on the exterior of the Olympic Center. Now overlooking Main Street and the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, these official rings of the 1980 Olympics are now refurbished and illuminated in Olympic colors with energy-efficient LED lights.
The Olympic Center’s completion culminates several years of transformative improvements across ORDA venues. Together, these massive projects have again elevated Lake Placid on the world’s winter sports and recreation stage, placing it among the world’s pre-eminent settings. As the biggest event since the 1980 Olympics approaches – the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, January 12 through 22 – ORDA is entering a new era.
In remarks to the audience gathered at the event, Todd Westhuis, Deputy Director of State Operations for the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul, stated, “The Governor and I are really excited about the museum, in particular, because when it opens its doors tomorrow, Lake Placid will indeed have an institution worthy of its rich winter sports history and culture. The investments are helping ORDA fulfill its mission to preserve the Olympic Region’s legacy, advance athlete training and recreational opportunities, host international events, and boost economic development in the region for years to come.”
Other speakers at the event included:
- Darcy Norfolk, Director of Communications, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- Michael Pratt, President & CEO, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- Joe Martens, Board Chair, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- John Becker, Board Chair, Lake Placid Olympic Museum
- Chadd Cassidy, General Manager, Olympic Center, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- Bob Hammond, Director of Environmental, Planning, and Construction, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- Julia Herman, Collections Manager, Lake Placid Olympic Museum, Olympic Regional Development Authority
- On video, Sarah Hirschland, CEO, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
At the conclusion of the speeches, the audience applauded as leaders used hockey, figure, and speed skates in a ceremonial ribbon cutting to acknowledge the official opening of the Museum and Olympic Center. To close out the evening, the original 1980 Olympic rings were lit on the exterior of the building.
For more information, visit the new website at lakeplacidolympicmuseum.org.