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Lake Placid To Host Two Major International Winter Competitions

Lake Placid sign with snow
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lake Placid has been chosen to host the 2019 International Children’s Games and the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships.  New York’s governor made the formal announcement over the weekend during an annual summer event in the Adirondacks.
At the end of the 2017 Adirondack Summer Challenge, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo noted the importance of tourism in the Adirondacks.  It represents 20 percent of the economy, bringing $1.3 billion to the North Country and is up more than 15 percent over the past five years. The governor announced two new events which are likely to bring even more people to the six-million acre park.  “In 2019 – Lake Placid has won the hosting of the 8th International Children’s Winter Olympics Games, which will bring thousands of people to Lake Placid. And it was just announced in Salt Lake City that Lake Placid has also won the International Bobsled and Skeleton World Championship that will be in 2021. So that’s going to be even more people coming into Lake Placid.”

The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority and the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation sent a team to Salt Lake City hoping to bring the world championships to Lake Placid, according to ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin. “This really came down to two historic venues: Lake Placid and St. Moritz Switzerland. And Lake Placid came out on top.  And for the Children’s Games this has really been a region wide effort.  We’re excited that for the first time ever on U.S. soil the International Children’s Games will be coming in January of 2019.”

The International Children’s Games, which are recognized by the International Olympic Committee, began in 1968. Winter competition began in 1994. Athletes between the ages of 12 and 15 participate. The New York Ski Educational Foundation, which provides snow sports athletic training for children and young adults, sent a team to the 2016 games in Innsbruck, Austria.  Executive Director John Norton says hosting the games in Lake Placid will be an opportunity to showcase the region.  “It certainly will be a shot in the arm for the economy.  There’s a lot of athletes, volunteers, parents, family members that travel with the athletes and coaches. But it also shows that Lake Placid is still on the scene in terms of an international competition destination if you will.”  

Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism President Jim McKenna says the Children’s Games will benefit the young athletes and efforts to reestablish the region’s international sporting base.  “We expect a minimum of 50 cities from around the world here and it’s got sort of an Olympic feel to it. And it’s one of the three larger type of multi-sports events that we’re working on right at the moment and that’s the first one. These types of events drive visitation and drive activities.  But more importantly they reestablish or strengthen the global sports brand that our region has and that has a long term effect.”

Lake Placid officials are also actively working on bids to host the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games and the 2023 World University Games.

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