Wow! Walk the streets of Lake Placid today, if you can get past the crowds, along with the groups standing around BS-ing while totally blocking the sidewalk, business is booming and that’s what tourism is all about.
“It’s déjà vu all over again”
Don’t you just love Yogi Berra’s wit?
This story is especially for my colleague, Harrietstown Councilor Ashley Milne, who also has a position on the staff of the World University Games (FISU – Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire) to be held in Lake Placid in 2023. The opening ceremonies will be on January 12 and the closing ceremonies on January 22, and will attract thousands of athletes from more than 50 nations.
Lake Placid last hosted the FISU games in 1972. Below is an excerpt from this 1971 LPN story: a “data sheet” in the games:
“What is FISU? – It is the governing body of international collegiate sports competitions. It sanctions both the biennial summer and winter games for the participation of its member countries.
“What is the official name of the games that will be held here? “The 1972 Lake Placid Universiade”.
“Which university is hosting the game? State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
“Where will the athletes stay? Current plans call for housing all competitors and officials at the Lake Placid Club Clubhouse.
[In 2023 the athletes will be housed at Paul Smith’s College, the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid and at the Great Escape Hotel in Lake George for FISU events held at Gore Mountain.]
“What is the estimated cost of the FISU Games? The Lake Placid Organizing Committee is currently working with an estimated budget of less than $200,000. The sources of the money are advance gate receipts, budgeted funds from the City of North Elba and the New York State Interim Study Commission for the FISU Games.
[A recent Lake Placid News story claims that New York State will spend $240 million “to improve the ORDA properties.”]
“Who is the Chairman of the Lake Placid FISU Organizing Committee? Ronald M. MacKenzie, retired postmaster of Lake Placid, former member of the Adirondack Mountain Authority, and avid skier, daily if possible. He is a member of the Sports Council, past president of the Lake Placid Ski Club, director of the USEASA Ski Association, Alpine and Nordic skiing judge and technical official”.
[Ron MacKenzie, 75, then president of the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee, died of a heart attack seated in a chair in the judge’s tower at the Olympic ski jumps in December 1978. He had been cross-country skiing in the morning, the competition was being held as a dedication ceremony for the jumps. Ron died just before the first skier came down. His wife insisted that the event continue. All of Lake Placid was in shock. I had traveled in Europe with him and other committee members. He was one of the nicest men one could ever meet. Later as a member of the Olympic Games staff, writing the official reports to the IOC, Ron was required to be the first person to read and edit those reports. There is a tunnel under the 120 meter jump leading to the judge’s tower and it was described in the report as a pedestrian walk-through. Ron said to me, as he read the report, ‘that tunnel has to be big enough to get a vehicle through’ — as it turned out, it was already vehicle dimensions; the pedestrian description was a technical error in the report. The first vehicle to use the tunnel was the rescue van used to remove him when he died.]
Mgr. “bill” Stage
What a different world 51 years ago. Here’s a front page story about a friend who just arrived in Lake Placid. I’m sure there are many who remember this kind, gentle and kind man.
“The Rt. rev. Msgr. William E. LaVallee, until now director of education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, will replace the Rev. William Coffey as pastor of St. Agnes in Lake Placid.
“Both Father Coffey and his recently appointed assistant pastor, the Reverend James Kane, will be leaving St. Agnes for positions elsewhere.
“The change, according to Father Coffey, occurred as part of several changes in the diocese due to the loss of some priests through death and retirement.
“The new pastor received his education at St. Bernard’s in Saranac Lake and graduated from Saranac Lake High School. After attending Paul Smith and Potsdam Colleges, he graduated from Wadhams Hall in Ogdensburg in 1954. He attended the University of St. Mary in Baltimore and was ordained in May 1958. He also received a master’s degree in history from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont. “.
The figure skating competition attracts 120 people
“Tango dance rhythms, waltzes, the double step and the fox trot will ring through the Olympic Arena during two days of ice dance competition on Friday and Saturday this week.
“Sixty ice dance couples have already signed up for the Annual Dance Competition, a popular event among skaters across the country. [I am sure Lake Placid has become too big to host such an event today… I hope I’m wrong.]
“The competitions will include places for those relatively new to ice dancing and for more advanced serious competitors. And there is room for over 30 and over 50 veterans at the Veterans Ball for the Walter K. Bachrach Veterans Trophy.” [I knew it, there they go again, age discrimination; no place for those over 90.]
Happy Jack, not so happy
“Jack Wikoff of Lake Placid appeared before Tuesday’s meeting of the North Elba Town Board as a representative of the Adirondack Champlain Festival to ask for more money from the town. It appears that the Festival, which has generated some controversy for last season, will face a deficit of $12,500 unless more money can be raised. The request was denied.”
Winter party to revive
“Plans are in the works to revive the American Winter Sports Festival. “We’re going to start over … maybe a little smaller this year,” said organizer James (Bunny) Sheffield, “but we’ll be back up there.”
“Sheffield told the Sports Council this week some preliminary ideas for the Festival, which is now around 17 years old. Sports organizers generally agree that the old festival has suffered from a lack of attention in recent years, in because of the emphasis and promotion of the Kennedy Games for three winters.
“Sports Director J. Bernard Fell told the Council that the North American competitions should be strengthened because ‘after FISU, we have nothing, we have to have something.’
“‘By keeping him alive,’ Fell said, ‘we can focus and use the contacts made through FISU.'” At that same meeting, Municipal Judge Jack Shea announced that he had asked state officials to replace him as a member of the Temporary Commission for FISU because he was the only member of the North Elba City Council who had expressed open opposition to the games.” [Town Justices in New York were at that time members of the Town Board.]
Today’s news and more delivered to your inbox