Monday, May 22, 2017

FREE! Watch Rhythmic Gymnastics in Lake Placid (NY)

Rhythmic Gymnastic teams watch competitors at the
Lake Placid Olympic Training Center (OTC) 
There is something so beautiful about watching athletes strive to be their very best. On the surface, the focus around Lake Placid seems to surround those winter Olympic sports. There are hockey camps and pond hockey events. There are national and international alpine ski races. Lake Placid hosts aerial ski jumping events, Nordic races as well as Luge, Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup championships. Being so close to all these unique sporting competitions has allowed my family to participate in events, watch world-class competitions, and learn new sports.

Tucked within the Olympic village, another unique sport is hosting an array of regional and national competitions. The USA Gymnastics Rhythmic program is hosting a variety of events to select the very best athletes to proceed to the next level of their sport. 

 Rhythmic Gymnastics club members perform as Individuals or teams during a floor routine using special elements such as a ball, clubs, rope, hoop, and ribbon. Each routine is practiced until perfect and then choreographed to music. The female-only sport was first integrated into the summer Olympic program at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games.  Between 1984 and 1992, participants only competed on an individual level.  It wasn’t until the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games that a team category was added to the gymnastics competition. The Olympics may have only recently included Rhythmic gymnastics to its docket, but the sport started in 1880s from a variety of disciplines including classical ballet.

I walk into the OTC and am told to head straight to the gym. Parents and competitors are pacing, getting ready to compete or decompressing from completing a rigorous routine. I’m able to get a front row spot of the competition without blocking anyone else’s view. Judges sit in a row scoring competitors on execution, artistic value, and difficulty. The performances are beautiful to watch. These young girls implement complex dance moves and gymnastic flips into a concise floor routine while tossing balls or hoops to catch in mid-air. I leave feeling quite uncoordinated, but inspired to come back to watch the next level compete.

The following Rhythmic Gymnastics events are scheduled for Lake Placid.
May 17-21: National Qualifier (US Olympic Training Center- OTC)
May 26-29: Open Championships and Future Stars Testing (1932 Jack Shea Olympic Arena)
May 30-June 5: Elite Squad Select Camp (invite only)

All competitions are free and open to the public. 

Some events take place at the OTC while other competitions are held at the Olympic Center. For the complete schedule please go to usagym.org/pages/rhythmic/pages/calendar.html. Enjoy! 


© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

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