Olympic spirit now in London; that spirit always in Lake Placid in the Adirondacks
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - We are in the midst of a very exciting Summer Olympics in London, especially if you are pulling for U.S. athletes. It's a good feeling when privately-funded teams and athletes like ours hold their own against government-funded teams.
There's lots of TV coverage, between the NBC family of networks and CTV in Canada. Compelling viewing is all around us.
But for those of us who live in Lake Placid or are visiting, that spirit exists daily. At this time of year, in fact, you can actually DO many of the sports that are held in the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Summer sports with an Olympic twist to do here include boating, biking, tennis, running, walking, triathlon, swimming, diving, horseback riding and more, like golf which comes into the Olympic program in 4 years.
Winter activities offered in the off-season include bobsledding, luge for the kids, biathlon, skating, hockey, ski jumping, freestyle skiing and others.
The point is that in this Adirondack resort, you not only can dream, but act, as the Olympian of your choice.
On top of that, Lake Placid is host to an official U.S. Olympic Committee Training Center. Many Summer and Winter Olympians make their way through this facility en route to the Games. In fact, right now, the center is full of winter athletes getting ready for their upcoming World Cup and World Championship seasons.
Bobsledders, luge racers, skeleton sliders, freestyle skiers, biathletes and others are all over the village and the local Olympic venues prepping for the fall and winter.
And they are certainly watching the action in London in their rooms and in the dining hall.
U.S. luge team member Summer Britcher, who was part of a gold medal-winning team effort last January at the first winter Youth Olympic Games, told her hometown paper in Pennsylvania that just watching the London events on the telly has gotten her excited about the possibility of qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games to be contested in Sochi, Russia.
Britcher is not alone. In Lake Placid, you'll find Olympic champions Hannah Kearney (mogul skiiing) and Steve Holcomb (bobsledding) training with their teammates.
Andrew Weibrecht, a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist in Alpine skiing and son of the Mirror Lake Inn's owners, is currently attending a U.S. Ski Team camp in South America. But Andrew has been here all spring and summer getting himself into world class condition to race in 2012-2013. He's been around our hotel quite often (usually undetected).
Local biathletes such as Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke, members of the last 2 Olympic teams, shoot and roller ski in Lake Placid all summer long.
So, in a sense, you really don't have to cross the pond to catch the Olympic vibe.
When you're here, it envelopes you.