Thursday, August 4, 2016

Winter Games Helped Lake Placid Become a "World-class" Resort (1)

Having twice hosted the Olympic Winter Games – in 1932 and 1980 – the small upstate New York village of Lake Placid has witnessed first-hand the numerous benefits that can be gained from becoming an Olympic host city.

Lake Placid 1932
4th February - 15th February
NOCs: 17 Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.
Athletes: 252 (21 women, 231 men)
Sports: 5 ( 7 Disciplines). Bobsleigh; Figure skating; Ice hockey; Nordic skiing (Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping); and Speed skating.
Events: 14

The 1932 Winter Olympics, officially known as the III Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1932 in Lake Placid, New York, United States. The games opened on February 4 and closed on February 15. It was the 1st Winter Olympics held in the United States.
The Games were opened by New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States later the same year.
At the time, Lake Placid was a town with a population of fewer than 4,000 people. Faced with major obstacles to raising money in the midst of a depression, Mr Godfrey Dewey, President of the Organising Committee, donated a plot of land belonging to his family for the construction of the bobsleigh track.

Venues (source: 1932 Winter Olympics official report):

For the 1932 Winter Olympics a total of five sports venues were used. This was unchanged from the previous games in St. Moritz. For the first time in the history of the Winter Olympics, an indoor venue was used for the figure skating and six of the twelve ice hockey events at the Olympic Arena. The first bobsleigh venue outside of Europe was constructed for use. Four different 18 km and five different 50 km venues were submitted for approval prior to the Olympics.
  • Olympic Stadium. Ice hockey, Speed skating
    The Stadium was constructed at the local high school.This purchased was approved by the city in 1929 following a series of local board meetings. A total 7.3 acres (3.0 ha) was leased by the Park Commission from the Lake Placid Board of Education that would run until 2028. Construction began in December 1929 and was completed by November 1931. At the arena was a 400 m (1,300 ft) long, circular track used for speed skating.
  • Olympic Arena. Figure skating, Ice hockey
    The Arena was an idea of Godfrey Dewey, president of the Organizing Committee, after he saw what sudden thaws had done to the Winter Olympics both in Chamonix and in St. Moritz. A visit by International Olympic Committee President Count Henri de Baillet-Latour in September 1930 encouraged Dewey to construct the indoor arena. This was approved at a board meeting later that month to investigation. Discussions ensued among the Olympic organizers until a site was approved in April 1931. Property was purchased in June of that year followed by an approval of a municipal bond in July. Construction took place between August 1931 and January 1932. Over 9 mi (14 km) of steel pipes were laid down on the floor to help make the ice.
  • Intervales Ski-Hill. Nordic combined (ski jumping), Ski jumping
    The first ski jump was constructed in Lake Placid in 1920. It had a 35 m (115 ft) hill. Three years later, the hill was rebuilt that was 50 m (160 ft) long. Finally, the hill was made 60 m (200 ft) long in 1927.
  • Lake PlacidCross-country skiing, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing)
    Cross country skiing trails took place around the hills of Lake Placid. Maintenance of the trails were first done by the New York State Conservation Department (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation since 1970). Within a 10 mi (16 km) radius around Lake Placid at the time of the 1932 Games, there were 250 mi (400 km) worth of good ski trails. Despite this, an additional 70 mi (110 km) had to be built and were accurately measured with steel tape to the nearest 1 km (0.62 mi) in order to meet the requirements of the International Ski Federation (FIS). Four different courses for the 18 km event and five different courses for the 50 km event were submitted to the FIS.
  • Mt. Van Hoevenberg Bob-Run. Bobsleigh
    The Bob Run was constructed during August–December 1930 and opened on Christmas Day 1930. This was done after site selection was met with protest over the use of the track in state-owned lands.
After the Olympics 3 of the venues would become host to events that were held outside of Europe for the first time. After the 1932 Games, the Stadium hosted the World Allround Speed Skating Championships for Men (Women's would not take place officially until 1936.). The bob track would host the International Bobsleigh World Championships in 1949. In 1950, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the ski jumping and the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined event took place at the ski jump used for the 1932 games.

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