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February= Skating Month

March 4, 2011 - Christie Sausa
February seemed to be skating month in Lake Placid....first there was synchronized skating, then Disney on Ice, followed by Empire State Games and the Jack Shea Sprints. Busy month! If you weren't in Lake Placid to see these events, here's what happened.

February 3rd through 5th, approximately 2,500 figure skaters, (along with their family, friends, and coaches) descended upon Lake Placid for the Eastern Synchronized Skating Championships. The event is a qualifier for the National Championships, and hosted skaters from as far north as Maine and as far south as North Carolina.

So, you might be asking, "what's synchronized skating?". Synchronized skating, formerly called "precision skating", is defined as "a large and fast growing discipline that consists of 8—20 (the number of skaters on a team often depends on the level) athletes skating on ice at one time moving as one flowing unit at high speeds". As you can imagine, this makes for fun and innovative routines which often incorporate jumps, spins, and even lifts. One of the best known Teams, the Haydenettes, placed first at the competition in Lake Placid. For more about synchronized skating, visit the US Figure Skating website (link below).

Next, Disney on Ice glided into town for Disney on Ice presents Princess Classics, a show that encompassed the stories of the Disney Princesses. A friend of mine skates in the tour, and I was lucky to catch the last show of the week. The skaters who portray the characters are very talented, and perform difficult tricks (I especially liked the adagio pairs routines). What impressed me the most was the choreography and cohesiveness...each segment of the show had it's own unique feel and theme. Disney won't be back in Lake Placid for another two years, but for more information on tour dates and other info, visit their website, listed below.

Finally, this past weekend, the Empire State Games returned, hosted by the Lake Placid CVB, ORDA, and others. As you may recall, NY State did not budget for the games, but local organizations decided to organize the games themselves. Amateur NY athletes competed in these fun competitions and enjoyed festivities such as the Opening Ceremonies and the Winterfest on the Lake Placid Beach. Although not a part of the games, the last speed skating race of the season, the Jack Shea Sprints, also took place that weekend. Hosted by the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club as part of their racing series, the race hosted skaters of different ages and abilities and gave them the opportunity to skate on the same oval where countless speed skating legends skated. For more information, visit

Speaking of the oval, there is still skating .........maybe I'll see you there!


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