Lake Placid activities abound leading to the Sochi Olympics
Winter came upon us recently with ample snow and ice for outdoor enjoyment. Our forecasters are telling us that winter will return soon.
First it was Winter Storm Cleon, then Dion, followed by Electra and now Falco that created fantastic early season conditions for skiing, riding, sledding and skating.
And in this season of the Olympic Winter Games in Russia, the timing is right as we are now about seven weeks to the Opening Ceremony in Sochi on Feb. 7.
Not only has the weather resembled the Winter Games, but so has the action in our two-time Winter Olympic village.
We began with the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament last month, which was won by Canada. This will be a formidable squad, and after winning the last three Olympic gold medals, will be favored to make it a fourth.
Last week the American bobsled and skeleton teams illustrated their strength on the Road to Sochi. Vancouver four-man bobsled champion Steve Holcomb has won all seven of his World Cup starts, including four victories in two-man racing with his new BMW sled and three triumphs in his new Bo-Dyn built Night Train 2. Three of the seven wins occurred in Lake Placid, but Holcomb’s talents are portable as seen in his wins in Calgary and Whistler. Watch this man in Sochi.
His teammates on the women’s unit have been strong also, as Elana Meyers has made herself a great bobsled driver. She takes her weekly spot on the World Cup podium, including a gold medal, and is getting back-up help from medalists Jamie Greubel and Jazmine Fenlator.
Noelle Pikus-Pace has been almost unstoppable in World Cup skeleton with two gold medals and a bronze to date, while Matt Antoine won his first career gold medal.
There will be more World Cup action next month when freestyle skiers make their way to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington for mogul skiing and Lake Placid’s Olympic Jumping Complex for aerial competitions. The dates are Jan. 15-18, and the United States Ski Team will name their Olympic freestyle team after these events.
In the meantime we have plenty of skiing and riding to do ourselves, with Whiteface Mountain open to the summit, and the Olympic trail network at Mount Van Hoevenberg offering all 50 kilometers (31 miles) of striding for all levels.
Currently you can ski the Wilderness course on Whiteface where Hannah Kearney of the U.S. will try to win yet another World Cup meet.
If you’re coming for the holiday period, mark Dec. 28 as the Olympic Center hosts Holiday Festival on Ice, featuring Kurt Browning, and others from recent Winter Olympics.
Top photo courtesy JFM Sports
Lower photo courtesy ORDA / Whiteface Mt.