Experiencing the Winter Olympics: Lake Placid Style

Celebrating the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid

Experiencing the Winter Olympics: Lake Placid Style

The 2014 Winter Olympics start at the end of this week and excitement is evident everywhere you turn. During the Summer Games, I was in Africa, and while I couldn’t spend much time watching them, if we were at a camp site or bar with a television, they were on. I remember looking the Games in a whole new light, realizing that the Olympics are truly a way to unite the world even while we compete against each other.

Many people may know Lake Placid because of its Olympic fame, but on my two previous trips, that wasn’t where my focus was. It wasn’t that I didn’t care that two Winter Games had been held there, it was just that I am one who likes to adventure rather than watch others do it, and Lake Placid is the ideal place to explore the outdoors.

Celebrating the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid

My third trip had plenty of adventuring in store, until the rain woke us up on Saturday morning and proceeded to melt the snow we were supposed to be playing in. Luckily, we had back up plans, one that involved the Olympics.

Of course, my adventuring spirit was disappointed, but I was interested in what we could discover. There was actually a lot to be learned, and since I wasn’t alive for either of Lake Placid’s Olympic Games, there was a lot of educating to be had. Still, as with everything in Lake Placid, we found time for plenty of fun and adventure.

The Olympic Center
The Center houses both ice skating rinks from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. While there were a couple of ice skating competitions happening during our stay, we were still able to get some time on the rink at the Herbs Brook Arena. This is the same rink that was made famous by the men’s hockey team in 1980, but with my fears of ice skating, let’s just say that I looked better in the penalty box than I did on the ice.

Penalty Box -  Herb Brooks Arena

Lake Placid Olympic Museum
While in the Olympic Center, we also visited the Olympic Museum, which houses much memorabilia from the Winter Games. It’s small and easy to wander around, perfect for someone who loves the Olympics. My favorite part was the figure skating section, as well as the Bobsled that we just had to pose in.

Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Luge Training Complex
Here, we got to meet with Larry Dolan, a former Olympian who competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics. Not only did he show us how it was done, but we all got to give it a go. I’ll be honest, I was terrified, and screamed before I even took off, but it was the most fun I have had in a while. It was definitely worth getting out of my comfort zone for.

1998 Nagano Olympian Larry Dolan

With the Winter Olympics in full swing soon enough, it’s always fun to look back on the past, and appreciate the hard work and energy these athletes dedicate to reaching their full potential; Lake Placid is the perfect place to do this.

While we didn’t get to visit every single Olympic site, there’s also the bobsled and ski jumps, we did get a taste during our short stay. Lake Placid may be a great place to experience the Winter Olympics of the past, but it’s also the ideal place to create some adventures of your own.

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Comments (16)

  1. @mrsoaroundworld

    Judging from what I have seen from Sochi, Lake Placid seems idyllic. I do feel sorry for the people who have to go to Sochi!

  2. Lance | Trips By Lance

    Your story is the second one I’ve heard of someone visiting a winter destination and rain keep you out of the outdoors. Very weird considering how cold and snowy this winter has been. Living in the South we don’t experience the greatness of winter very often. I want to take my son on a winter experience next year. This looks like the type of place instead of a ski resort. So much to do in Lake Placid. I’ll be seeking advice in the fall for my planning!

    1. The World Wanderer

      You would absolutely love LP, and it would be the perfect destination for your family. I’ve only been in the winter, but I’m hoping to head back in the spring/early summer.

      It is funny that we got rained out, especially there, because where I live, we’ve had the most snow we’ve had in a while!

  3. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)

    Best trip ever! What a fun weekend. I’m sad we didn’t get to have the outdoorsy adventures we’d planned but I love love loved all of the Olympics stuff. Can’t wait to go back!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was so much fun! So glad you got to experience a place I love so much, and with me! Can’t wait until our next trip!

  4. Craig Zabransky

    As good as you look in the penalty box, you must admit, someone looks pretty dashing sporting an American Stars and Strips on the ice too 😉

    I enjoyed the Olympic aspect of Lake Placid, especially when you consider how the games unite people. It’s wonderful and I look forward to watching the 2014 Sochi Winter Games games too. Plus, I agree with Francesca, I look forward to returning for more outdoor adventure, more fireside chats and campfires… and of course more hot tub time.
    Stay Olympic, Craig

    1. The World Wanderer

      Oh, absolutely, Craig! #staysportingstarsandstripes 😉

      I cannot wait for more fireside chats and hot tub time…my favorite!

  5. Leah

    Girl, you are rocking that penalty box. I loved following this trip. Y’all looked like you had a grand time.

  6. lola

    so sad to have missed this one! next time Lake Placid…you will be mine 😉

  7. D.J. - The World of Deej

    This Olympics junkie is supremely jealous. Love the picture of you and Raul in the bobsled.

  8. An Olympic Size Winter Wonderland - Lake Placid, New York | Stay Adventurous | Mindset for Travel Blog

    […] such training facilities in Lake Placid, and such a Winter Olympic Heritage, many Olympians come from this region of New York and some are competing in Sochi.  Visitors to […]

  9. Traveling Ted

    I am very used to rain ruining winter adventure. This winter has been about the only winter I can remember when this has not happened yet in Chicago. Reading about Lake Placid brings back great memories of watching the 1980 team. I am not even a hockey fan, but watching that team is up there in my top ten sport memories.

  10. Charu

    How wonderful! I wouldn’t be able to muster the courage to do the luge!

  11. the lazy travelers

    watching the winter has olympics has made me realize that i have an innate fear of luging.

  12. Deanna

    Love the Olympics…maybe add experiencing one of them real-time in the future to your travel plans?

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