Lake Placid is a special place. There’s nowhere in the world quite like it, and few places anywhere offer facilities and experiences on a scale or quality even approaching what the Olympic Authority maintains.  

Here, winter sport venues meet or exceed all international standards. Locals and visitors alike have access to a vast multitude of recreational activities. Throughout the year, we host local, regional, and international events of all kinds. We have athletes and coaches at all levels, providing a continual presence of greatness among us. And all that comes with a history that is as remarkable as it is inspiring.  

Nordic ski racers come to the finish line at Mt Van Hoevenberg during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games with a big crowd looking on and a scoreboard off to the right side.
A crowd looks on and cheers as Nordic ski competitors cross the finish line at Mt Van Hoevenberg during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY.

As a result, we’re home to not only a 100-year-long track record of successfully cultivating the highest levels of athletic greatness in winter sports but also to unrivaled infrastructure and opportunities for recreational enthusiasts. That makes Lake Placid a place where training, competing, spectating, and recreating all merge to provide powerfully unique experiences for all. In combination with its people, business community, and surrounding Adirondack wilderness, these factors make Lake Placid a one-of-a-kind community. A place where possibilities are boundless. 

A crowd of spectators at the Olympic Oval cheers on competitors.
Fans cheer during a men’s 5000 meter speed skate at the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/FISU Games)

For decades, Olympic Authority venues have hosted everything from local high school competitions to youth hockey tournaments to International Ski Federation (FIS) races to World Cup competitions to World Championships and even the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games. In our history, we’ve brought millions of athletes and spectators to our corner of the state.  

Today, after six years of massive renewal projects, our ability and appeal in hosting events is bigger and better than ever. The benefits of being here for events are also bigger and better than ever.  

In November of 2022, the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) turned to the Olympic Authority in a pinch. The season opener of their signature Eastern Cup series was only a week away, and their Vermont venue had no snow. Our team agreed to take on hosting their races, along with thousands of skiers and coaches and spectators, even though our Mt Van Hoevenberg venue was already hosting an International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup event that same weekend. There is no other single venue anywhere that could simultaneously host both these events.  

A four man bobsled team pushes from the start at Mt Van Hoevenberg during a recent IBSF World Cup Bobsled and Skeleton event. But the host venue, Mt Van Hoevenberg, is no average facility. Home to a unique combination of sports and recreation, including a combined track for bobsled, skeleton as well as 55km of Nordic trails featuring the world’s most powerful snowmaking system dedicated to a Nordic facility, plus the beautiful new Mountain Pass Lodge perfectly placed directly between the two, this historic venue was ready. So was our team of expert event organizers. That weekend, thousands of skiers, sliders, coaches, fans, and families came and relished what turned out to be a powerfully unforgettable experience for all.  

But in fact, part of the magic of Mt Van Hoevenberg, or any Olympic Authority venue, is that the average visitor can arrive any day to enjoy skiing or some other activity and find themselves alongside elite athletes and Olympians. In that way, visitors gain an experience they’ll never forget. At the same time, the athletes involved also benefit with greater visibility of their sport or discipline as well as enhanced sport development, recruitment potential around every corner, and a training and competitive environment rife with support and success.  

A snowy and busy night on Main Street in Lake Placid during the FISU World Winter University Games.
Evening festivities on Main St during FISU World University Games in Lake Placid NY. (Photo by Nancie Battaglia/FISU Games)

This is especially important for children. Good athletes and great athletes alike live and train in deliberate ways to stay strong and improve their performance. Whether it’s nutrition, warmups, gym routines, techniques, discipline, or commitment, their positive behaviors can be infectious. We have much to learn from these athletes about their sport, and we can learn about being successful in life, too. That’s the advantage of being in a place with world class sport venues. 

This real-life advantage is made even more powerful yet by the fact that many athletes are eager to give back to their sports. They’re excited about training and self-improvement and want to help young people develop skills and experience. Olympians and aspiring Olympic athletes have a unique ability and interest in helping youth and their communities, and here in Lake Placid, we have access to some of the best coaches and mentors anywhere.  

These are some of the things that make our community special and could easily be considered another Lake Placid miracle. Whether you are an athlete training and competing at the venues, a visitor recreating and spectating, or a local citizen learning and growing and doing, we are the heirs of the good people whose vision and hard work created all we have today. The numerous sports and activities we engage in are advantages others don’t have. We are the beneficiaries, too, of the dedication and passions for sport, events, and activity demonstrated here every day.