LAKE PLACID - Officials from the Olympic Village won't join their international brethren at this year's World Union of Olympic Cities summit in Brazil.
In years past, the Lake Placid village mayor, along with regional tourism brass and representatives from the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, has traveled to the annual conference. But not this year.
"There's nothing on the agenda that is particularly different this year," Mayor Craig Randall told trustees at Monday's board meeting. "If there were a compelling reason to attend, I'd make the effort. I think this year, we'll forgo it."
James McKenna, left, president and CEO of the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall pose at the 2009 Lausanne Summit next to a monument commemorating the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
(Photo courtesy of Cheryl Breen Randall)
The fourth Lausanne Summit, hosted by the World Union of Olympic Cities, is scheduled to take place Nov. 10-11 at Rio Othon Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. According to the organization's website, this year's summit will focus on the Olympic legacy and "the link between sustainable urban development and international sport."
"The theme of the Summit will be how to ensure the Games result in community and environmentally sustainable legacies," a statement on the website reads.
Even though Randall is featured in a photo on the front page of the summit's website, he said he would prefer to stay in Lake Placid for family reasons. He added that attendance for two people is paid for by the World Union of Olympic Cities, although the village would be required to foot the transportation bills.
"If someone wanted to attend, they could, but we would need to make arrangements immediately," Randall said.
Jim McKenna, president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, said he is too busy to make the trip this year. ORDA President and CEO Ted Blazer is also not going.
McKenna said Lake Placid may have had an interest in some of the issues at this year's summit, but a lot is happening on the home front.
"It's timing more than anything," he said. "It's been busy the last few months."
McKenna did note that Lake Placid has a seat on the summit's Executive Committee, meaning it has a say if any major decisions are made.
Randall said the village and its partners will instead pool resources to do more research on the Winter Youth Olympics, which it hopes to one day host. The first-ever games take place this winter in Innsbruck, Austria.
McKenna said the decision to bid for the Youth Olympics in Lake Placid lies with the United States Olympic Committee, but he added that nothing is preventing Lake Placid from doing its homework.
"Lake Placid may still put a delegation together to check that out," he said.
Speaking Monday night, village Trustee Jason Leon joked that Randall showed restraint, given the location of this year's summit.
"I'm impressed with your discipline," Leon joked. "It is Rio de Janeiro."
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.