Wow! Walk the streets of Lake Placid today – if you can get through the crowds, with groups hovering around BS-ing while totally blocking the sidewalk – business is booming and that’s what it’s for tourism.
“It’s deja vu again”
Don’t you like the spirit of Yogi Berra?
This story is especially for my colleague, Ashley Milne, a member of the Harrietstown City Council, who also holds a position on the staff of the World University Games (FISU – Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire) to be held in Lake Placid in 2023. Opening Ceremonies will take place on January 12 and Closing Ceremonies on January 22, attracting thousands of athletes from more than 50 nations.
Lake Placid last hosted the FISU games in 1972. Here is an excerpt from that 1971 LPN story – a “fact sheet” on games:
“What is FISU? – It is the governing body of international collegiate sports competitions. It sanctions 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 hosts the game?” The State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
“Where will the athletes be housed? 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. Sources of funding are expected admission receipts, budgeted funds from the City of North Elba, and the New York State Temporary 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 president of the FISU Lake Placid organizing committee? Ronald M. MacKenzie, retired postmaster of Lake Placid, former member of the Adirondack Mountain Authority and avid skier, every day 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 Ski 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.]
Msgr. “Invoice” The valley
What a different world 51 years ago. Here is a page of history about a friend who had just arrived in Lake Placid. I’m sure there are many who remember this gentle, kind and gracious man.
“The Rt. Rev. Msgr. William E. LaVallee, until now director of education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, will replace Reverend William Coffey as pastor at St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid.
“Father Coffey and his newly appointed assistant pastor, Reverend James Kane, will be leaving St. Agnes for positions elsewhere.
“The change, according to Father Coffey, came amid several changes in the diocese due to the loss of some priests through death and retirement.
“The new pastor was educated at St. Bernard School 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 St. Mary’s University in Baltimore and was ordained in May 1958. He also earned a master’s degree in history from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont. .”
The figure skating competition attracts 120 people
“The dance rhythms of tango, waltzes, paso doble and fox trot will reverberate through the Olympic arena during two days of ice dancing competition on Friday and Saturday this week.
“Sixty pairs of ice dancers have already registered 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 who are relatively new to ice dancing and for more advanced serious competitors. And there’s a place for veterans over 30 and over 50 in the Veterans Dance 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 session of North Elba City Council as a representative of the Adirondack Champlain Festival to ask for more money from the city. It looks like the Festival, which has created some controversy over the past season, will face a $12,500 deficit unless more money can be raised. The request was denied. »
Winter Festival to relaunch
“Plans to relaunch competition at the North American Winter Sports Festival are in the works. “We’re going to start again…maybe a little smaller this year,” organizer James (Bunny) Sheffield said, “but we’ll get back to it.”
“Sheffield this week shared with the Sports Council some preliminary ideas for the Festival, which is now around 17 years old. Sporting organizers generally agree that the old festival has suffered from a lack of attention in recent years, in because of the focus and promotion of the Kennedy Games over three winters.
“Sporting Director J. Bernard Fell told the Council that North American competitions should be strengthened because ‘after FISU we don’t have anything, we have to have something.’
“‘By keeping him alive,’ Fell said, ‘we can focus on that and use the contacts made through FISU.’ At that same meeting, City Judge Jack Shea announced that he had asked state officials to replace him as a member of the temporary FISU commission because he was the only member of the North Elba City Council. to have expressed open opposition to the games.” [Town Justices in New York were at that time members of the Town Board.]