Train like an Olympian in Lake Placid

Updated: 02/13/2014 5:51 PM
Created: 02/13/2014 4:12 PM WHEC.com
By: Scott Kilbury

With the Winter Olympic Games means another group of New Yorkers competing for gold. Lake Placid is the only city in the nation to send athletes to every Winter Olympics. You can visit the training center nestled in the shadows of the Adirondacks.

So you want to experience the Olympics first hand without the lifetime of training you can. It just takes a commitment of five and a half hours in the car and you’re there.

Jon Lundin, Olympic Reg. Development Authrority, said, “If you have any dreams of being in the Winter Olympics. You’re going to eventually find yourself in Lake Placid.”

The Olympics Sports Complex is where athletes from around the country come to train in different disciplines and you too can experience the ride of a lifetime.

Lundin said, “It is pretty cool. You’re doing it where Olympians train.”

The Olympic Sports Complex is an interactive as you can get. It gives visitors the chance to try several venues. So if you have the need for speed, the very embanked refrigerated track Olympians train and compete on is open to the public.

Joseph Allen, bobsled operator, said, “On a regular basis, every day we get an average of people probably 100 at least every day and that’s a minimum.”

From comfy confines of a bobsled or you can be a little more exposed on a luge. Then there is the skeleton. Thirty miles per hour never seemed as fast as when you are lying on your stomach rocketing down an icy chute.

The biathlon, that crazy sport where they cross country ski, shoot at targets, in between breaths, cross country ski again, collect themselves and shoot again, and then cross country ski.”

You can ride the Cross Country Biathlon Center minus the firearms. It has groomed trails that take skiers through towering white pines and past sparkling tranquil streams. It is quiet, low-impact exercise in a natural environment and it played host to the cross country skiing race in 1980.

Down the road is the ski jump complex. There are 90 and 120 meter ski jump towers built for the 1980 Olympic Games that are still very much in use. It is 15 stories high, a 26 story drop. It is equivalent of a ride at Disneyland, but you have skis on.

On any given day, you can see Olympic hopefuls gliding over the length of a football field. Take the elevator to the observation deck and get a bird's eye view of what the jumpers see as they start to accelerate towards the end of the ramp. 

Nearby, aerialists will spring off steep kickers on the Lake Placid freestyle hill in a flurry of twists, turns and tumbles. Who says you need wings to fly. Here, you just need skis.

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