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.
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.
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.
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.
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.