It will be a sea of spandex suits, warming huts and waving flags. No, it’s not a comic book convention though the next two weeks will attract the same amount of hero worship. With twenty-one countries being represented in the 41st Luge World Championships, Lake Placid deserves a bit of fanfare.
The first time the Worlds came to Lake Placid was 26 years ago. It was the first time the event had been held outside of Europe. Now it is back. The event is toted as the final major event for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This is going to be a career builder or breaker for some. Some tricky areas for the sledders will be Cliffside, Labyrinth, Bendam’s Bend and Chicane.
The organizers of the event are making it very user friendly. There are viewing areas set up around the track with television monitors showing the rest of the run. Ticket holders are not restricted to seats but allowed to walk all around to get various views. It is going to be exciting as people, competitors and ticket holders, watch this Olympic qualifying event.
Friday starts the action with the doubles run in the morning and women’s race in the afternoon. Between heats attendees will be able to meet the competitors during a scheduled autograph signing. Now we will be able to put a voice to some of our Olympic athletes. The Men’s event is Saturday and Relay on Sunday.
Following the Men’s event on Saturday is the Lake Placid World Fest. This is a free community event featuring live music, vendors, skating, children’s activities, and games held at the Mirror Lake public beach starting at 3:00. The luge competitors will be acknowledged and fireworks will follow.
To get to the Olympic Sports Complex follow Route 73 South from Lake Placid for seven miles. Turn right into the entrance. The parking lot and ticket booth is at the end of the drive. For complete World Cup event information go to www.lakeplacid2009.com or call 523-4436. The Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships are Feb. 20- March 1. One day, 3 day or 10 day passes are available.
(as published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise)