LAKE PLACID - The 1980 Winter Olympic cauldron will be lit Friday, Feb. 7, to celebrate the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
This free ceremony, open to the public, is intended to commemorate Lake Placid and the Adirondacks' Olympic heritage, and also to honor the region's many local athletes who have represented Team USA in the past and those who will compete in this year's Olympics.
Following the 6 p.m. lighting, Olympians and other runners are invited to join a torch run from the cauldron at the North Elba Show Grounds down state Route 73, then along Main Street. The procession will end at Mid's Park on Main Street in the heart of downtown, lighting a smaller, portable cauldron for the Empire State Winter Games. That cauldron will continue to burn throughout the Empire State Winter Games (Feb. 6 to 9) and throughout the competition at the Sochi Olympics (Feb. 6-23).
The cauldron from the 1980 Winter Olympics is relit in February 2010 in honor of that year’s Olympic Games in Vancouver.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
Organizers hope all former Olympians in the region will participate and carry the torch for a segment of the run. Those interested and available are asked to contact Darci LeFave at 518-523-9518 or email email@example.com to join in.
In addition, anyone who served as a volunteer or hostess in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, or who has a 1980 uniform, is invited to wear their garb for the occasion.
The ceremony is being organized by the town of North Elba in conjunction with the village of Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Olympic Flame Tower Restoration Committee, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, the Empire State Winter Games Organizing Committee, the state Olympic Regional Development Authority and WPTZ News Channel 5.
The lighting will be broadcast live on WPTZ News Channel 5's 6 p.m. newscast.
Visitors and residents are invited to participate in several programs that will take place in and around the village, which will be decorated in red, white and blue lights and celebratory banners. For more information about the events and programs occurring in Lake Placid in celebration of Sochi, visit www.lakeplacid.com/sochi-lake-placid.