Winter Olympians Train, Entertain at Lake Placid

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Photo by: ORDA

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Summer is ticking away for many of us, but for world class winter athletes, the off-season continues for several more months. Nordic and freestyle skiers are getting ready for next winter. That preparation is most evident at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid where some competitors soar from the 90 meter ski jump, while others plunge into the 750,000 freestyle pool until October.

Even though summer training is serious business to these athletes, they do let their hair down for the entertainment of visitors to the jumping complex. Well into the fall, ski jumpers, aerial skiers, mogul skiers, snowboarders and freeriders train daily at these sites, operated by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). The United States National Championships in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined will be held in Lake Placid over Columbus Day weekend.

As part of this action, ORDA presents Wet and Wild Wednesday and Soaring Saturday when these young fliers throw down for the masses in competitions and exhibitions. Weekly events in both activities continue through August 20. Imagine watching winter sports like ski jumping and freestyle skiing in the comfort of shorts and tee shirts.

At Wet and Wild Wednesday, you will witness aerial skiers sliding down a ramp on skis and then launching up to 60 feet in the air. This enables them to execute various spinning and twisting tricks. The 750,000 gallon pool is aerated with bubbles to cushion the landing.

But there is more to this than just athletic achievement. This is show time: on Wednesday, the music rocks with Official Radio Station Y-106-FM. There is a jive MC, and audience participation before the festivities, with a cool
atmosphere for everyone.

Soaring Saturday, at 1 p.m. on Aug. 16, is presented by Bling, where it's fun shopping. Bling is located at 237 Lake Flower Avenue in Saranac Lake. At Bling, you'll find Crocs, Prana, Horny Toad, Fiesta Wear, Life is Good,
apparel for the entire family and other fun gifts and certificates. Get the full story at

Soaring Saturday features the top eastern jumpers sailing from the 90-meter ski jump tower in a king-of-the-hill, distance only format. These athletes, aspiring to secure future spots on the United States National Team, make use
of Lake Placid's artificial jumping surfaces to emulate winter speeds and distances. It's a summer activity dating back over 20 years.

Get the latest updates by listening to Soaring Saturday's Official Radio Station, Rock 105-FM.

ORDA concessionaire, Centerplate, serves a tasty summertime fare each day to satisfy your lunchtime appetite.

Admission is $14 for adults and $8 for juniors and seniors. This includes the chairlift alongside the ski jump landing hills and the 26-story elevator ride to the top of the 120 meter ski jump tower for unparalleled views of
the High Peaks.

ORDA also offers the Gold Medal Adventure from 9 am to 12:30 pm Wednesday through Sunday. For $35, participants can try wheeled luge and the bobsled push start. The price includes a tour of the complex and an Athlete Meet and Greet session. You can register in advance by calling 518-523-2202 at the ski jumps on the day of participation.

For more information on these series as well as all ORDA events and activities, and for webcams from five locations, please log on to


Stefan Thomas grabbing some tail above Park City's Eagle superpipe.

Train Like an Olympian in Park City, Utah

January is "Learn a Snow Sports" month. So why not pick up Nordic jumping? As the 2010 Olympic athletes gear up for their trip to Vancouver in a few weeks, you can fine tune your own skills at Olympic events in Park City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. They've got introductory courses in nearly all Olympic disciplines, from bobsledding to curling to slalom skiing.