LAKE PLACID, New York — Several of world’s best Nordic combined and skeleton athletes, as well as bobsled teams will be vying for Olympic team spots when they compete this weekend, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 18-20, in Lake Placid, N.Y. The road to Vancouver and the 2010 Winter Games continues to make its way through the two-time Olympic village when 90 athletes from 13 countries compete in the FIS Intercontinental Cup Nordic combined event and more than 170 athletes from 18 nations race in the FIBT America’s Cup bobsled and skeleton competition.
Several countries, including the United States, will try to qualify Nordic combined athletes for February’s Games. Eleven athletes from the U.S. will battle it out for two remaining Olympic team positions and possibly join 2009 World Champion and three-time Olympian Billy Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.), and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), a four-time Olympian and 2009 World Champion, on the squad.
Competition begins both Saturday and Sunday with 90-meter ski jumping, at the Olympic Jumping Complex, at 10 a.m., followed by 10 km cross country ski racing, at the Olympic Sports Complex, at 2 p.m.
American Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) is expected to compete in Friday’s two-man and four-man bobsled competitions. The three-time Olympian and 2002 Olympic silver medalist is battling through two injuries which have cost him World Cup points in Lake Placid; Cesana, Italy and this weekend in Winterberg, Germany. The 40-year-old will use this event to try to make up points on the world-ranking list and keep his dream on track for making the 2010 Olympic squad.
Racing on the one-mile long, 20-curve Olympic Sports Complex track, at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, begins Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. and on Sunday, at 10 a.m.
For more information on Whiteface and the Olympic Regional Development Authority’s (ORDA) Olympic venues, log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.