Jennifer Zhang competes in figure skating.
Lake Placid is looking to again welcome the world to the Adirondacks.
At least, a younger version of the world.
On the heels of another successful Empire State Winter Games and the first-ever Winter Youth Olympiad in Innsbruck, Austria, local winter sports enthusiasts also envision the home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics as the home for the third Youth Olympic Winter Games is 2020.
“They want to see sites that have the venues in place,” said Jim McKenna, Executive Director of the Regional Office on Sustainable Tourism (ROOST)/Lake Placid CVB and head of the Empire State Winter Games organizing committee. “That would narrow it down to us and Salt Lake City/Park City. The United State Olympic Committee makes the decision if they want to make a move to host the games, so all we can do is let them know we are here.”
“Oh, they know that we have an interest in hosting,” Sandy Caligiore, who works with the Empire State Winter Games, said. “Now it is up to the USOC wanting to have us as a host for these games.”
He said that as far as the logistics, the Lake Placid region has been dealing with a similar sporting event for the past 32 years.
“It is doable to have the games here,” Caligiore said. “In terms of athlete numbers, the Empire State Games this year were projected to have the same number of athletes as were projected in Innsbruck.”
Caligiore said that they had an eye on the Youth Olympic Games, and that they were impressed with the presentation.
“We saw how it was dressed up and it had a great look,” Caligiore said.
The 2006 Youth Olympic Winter Games are set to be held in Lillehammer, Norway. The process to award the 2020 games has yet to start.
Talk of the potential to host the Youth Winter Olympics started in 2010, when USOC officials were in the area to discuss the potential of a bid. The officials felt that they would not be able to put a bid together for the 2016 games, but planned to target 2020 as a possibility.