Lake Placid – The eighth International Children’s Winter Games will bring the spirit of friendship through competition and the excitement of winter sports to Lake Placid from January 6-11, 2019.
Modeled after the Olympics and recognized by the IOC, the International Children’s Games were created 50 years ago with the goal of promoting peace and friendship through sport and competition. Lake Placid’s multi-sport and cultural event serves to maintain that tradition, operating under a tagline and mission statement that embodies that spirit: “Friendship and Sport Move Mountains.”
Over 450 athletes ages 12 to 15 from 33 cities spanning 14 countries from around the world will engage in friendly competition – they will all compete with their peers in eight sports: alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, biathlon, long track speed skating, figure skating, and hockey. The events are held at Whiteface Mountain, the Olympic Jumping Complex, Olympic Speed Skating Oval, and the Olympic Center.
When not competing, athletes will get acquainted with fellow competitors from other cultures through free-time activities aimed at inter-cultural learning and fellowship. The students will gather together each night at in the Conference Center at Lake Placid where there will be learning activities and presentations including a snowshoe expo, an Olympic athlete meet and greet, team-building games by Experience Outdoors, and much more.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome the world to Lake Placid and provide a platform for these children to be able to compete on a world-class stage while building friendships,” said ICWG Executive Director Eileen Mowrey.
All are welcome to be a part of the Games and pageantry by attending the opening ceremonies, the athlete parade and fireworks, and watching the daily competitions.
The opening ceremony on Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. is free, open to the public, and will be held in the Herb Brooks Arena in the Lake Placid Olympic Center. A live performance by the Montreal-based contemporary circus group THROW2CATCH will entertain the audience with their eclectic mix of acrobatics, dance, theater and music. A local Adirondack choir composed of 150 local students will perform, and there will be the lighting of the cauldron, signifying the opening of the Games. New York City based magician and mentalist Gary Ferrar will be master of ceremonies. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are not needed.
The athlete’s parade is Tuesday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Conference Center and ends at Lake Placid’s Mid’s Park on Main Street. Included in the parade are heads of delegations, athletes, ICWG committee members, and representatives from each city. At 7:45 p.m., a fireworks display begins over Mirror Lake. Main Street will be closed to traffic during the parade.
All the competitions are open to the public and are free, with the exception of the freestyle and snowboarding events, which require a Whiteface Mountain lift ticket. Competitions take place Monday, January 7 – Thursday January 10. Visit LakePlacid2019.com for a complete schedule.
Support for the International Children’s Winter Games 2019 is provided by Market NY through the I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism as a part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards.
Text courtesy Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, NY Olympic Regional Development Authority
Photos courtesy Tyrol.com, Innsbruck