LAKE PLACID, New York ??вЂќ Governor George E. Pataki today announced plans for the upcoming 25th Anniversary Celebration of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid during the week of February 12-27, 2005. The two-week celebration will feature athletes such as former USA Hockey Team members Mike Eruzione and Jim Craig, figure skaters Scott Hamilton and Linda Fratianne, and alpine skiers and twin brothers Phil and Steve Mahre.
“In 1980, Lake Placid captured the hearts and minds of millions of sports fans around the world as New York played host to some of the greatest sports achievements of the 20th century,” Governor Pataki said. “The USA Hockey Team’s ‘Miracle on Ice’ and the performance of speed skater Eric Heiden have become synonymous with Lake Placid. In the 25 years since those amazing achievements, the Village has continued to attract visitors and world-class athletes from around the globe. Next month, I look forward to once again showcasing for the world the first-class hospitality and outstanding recreational opportunities that Lake Placid and New York State have to offer.”
Jim Craig, goaltender for the 1980 US Hockey team, will kick-off the festivities by re-lighting the original cauldron on Saturday, February 12 at 5:30 PM at the site of the Opening Ceremonies stadium.
Senator Betty Little said, “American hearts overflowed with pride twenty-five years ago when history was made in this tiny village nestled in the Adirondacks. This celebration will shine the spotlight again on Lake Placid, revealing the progress that continues to be made here for visitors and athletes. Like many, I look forward to another chance to revisit those truly unforgettable days when Lake Placid hosted the best Winter Olympic Games.”
Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said, “In our Adirondack Region twenty-five years ago, the world celebrated the commitment and skills of athletes competing for the sporting world’s highest honors. Now we invite the world to remember and celebrate again. Lake Placid is synonymous with Winter Sports and we appreciate Governor Pataki’s commitment to support Lake Placid as a world class sports venue.”
The New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), established in 1982 to manage and promote the Olympic venues, will host World Cup races in men’s and women’s bobsled and skeleton Feb. 10-14 at the Verizon Sports Complex. Several current coaches were 1980 competitors and will participate in the Opening Ceremony.
During the course of the celebration, residents and visitors alike can participate in 80 Minute parties at the Municipal Beach on Mirror Lake, site of the 1980 awards ceremonies. Disney on Ice will present Toy Story 2 February 17-21 in the Olympic Center and there will be specially-priced lift tickets to ski or ride Whiteface Mountain on select days. The celebration also features Lake Placid Olympic-themed films and a panel discussion offered at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts; torchlight parades; speed skating races and more.
On February 23rd, the Olympic Center will host a Gala Celebration and Ice Show, featuring a tribute to the 1980 athletes and the Games, including appearances by skating champions Linda Fratianne, Peter and Kitty Carruthers, Robin Cousins, Josef Sabovcik and others.
Other athletes will be added to the lineup in coming weeks and visitors and residents alike will have the chance to interface with some of these 1980 Olympic alumni in a variety of activities at various Lake Placid venues.
“We hope to make this anniversary celebration a truly memorable occasion for all who attend,” said ORDA President and CEO Ted Blazer. “Our goals will be to re-live the events of the past through the participation of the athletes and coaches who made them a reality. In addition to our legacy, we also want people to see how we have evolved as a year-round resort community that hosts the world twelve months a year.”
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development Corporation and ORDA said, “From the standpoint of Lake Placid’s legacy and the region’s future in tourism, it is important that we mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary with noteworthy activities highlighted by the return of numerous 1980 Winter Olympians. International events and world class athletes have been returning to Lake Placid since 1980 because of the community’s place in Olympic lore, and visitors keep coming here to re-live Lake Placid’s history while also enjoying its aesthetic beauty and state-of-the-art venues. Next month’s celebration gives us a chance to reiterate these messages.”