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Lake Placid Celebrates 40th Anniversary Of 1980 Winter Olympics

Lake Placid Olympic speed skating oval (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Lake Placid Olympic speed skating oval (file)

It’s 1980 in Lake Placid. A cauldron is lit and from February 13th to the 24th more than a thousand athletes from 37 countries compete in 38 events during the second winter Olympics held in the village.  Eric Heiden makes Olympic history, winning five individual gold medals in speed skating. Ice skaters Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, Tai Babilonia and other team members entrance the world.  The Miracle on Ice stuns even the winning players.

Four decades later, Lake Placid and the Olympic Regional Development Authority are marking the 40th anniversary celebration of the 1980 games.  ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the celebrations will begin with a torch run and cauldron lighting.
New York Governor Hugh Carey:  “In 1980 as in 1932 we New Yorkers are honored to host these games. And so raise the flags. We are ready. And may your dreams and expectations rise and unfold with them.”

Jon Lundin:   “It's hard to believe that when I say the names of some of these athletes who are coming back that, you know, we still remember them so fondly.   Buzz Schneider who was a member of the Miracle on Ice hockey team will be here. He scored that first goal against the Soviets. Others who will be here will be Scott Hamilton. He won the gold medal in men's figure skating in 1984 but he carried the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies here in Lake Placid. Charlie Tickner was a bronze medalist in men’s figure skating and he's going to come back for the first time in 40 years. Linda Fratianne, who is the women's single’s figure skater silver medalist for the United States, is also coming back for the first time in 40 years. Kitty Carruthers, Tai Babilonia both were pair’s figure skaters during the games. They'll be back. And also coming to Lake Placid with his Olympic connection is speed skater Dan Jansen who you may remember as a four time Olympian. He captured the Olympic championship in 1994. So we're excited to have all of these athletes and Olympians here.”

Audio of New York Governor Hugh Carey at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics is courtesy of the New York state Archives.

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