LAKE PLACID The International Olympic Committee is back in town. But not to discuss an Olympic bid by Lake Placid. The organization is hosting the sixth IOC Athlete Career Programme Forum - the first time the gathering is being held outside of the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It's also the first time IOC people have met here in about 15 years, according to Jon Lundin, spokesman for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority.
This village hasn't hosted the Winter Olympics since 1980, and although it's often considered too small to host it again any time soon, the dawn of the Youth Olympics gives Lake Placid officials a realistic goal for which to lobby the IOC. Asked about that, Lundin gave a broad answer.
"We're looking to continue strengthening our relationship with the IOC at all times," Lundin said. "Any time you can bring the IOC to Lake Placid and show and highlight our Olympic legacy, it's important to Lake Placid, it's important to ORDA, and it continues to keep us at the forefront of their minds."
Started in 2005, the athlete program is geared to provide support to elite athletes in the areas of education, life skills and employment. The forum in Lake placid runs through Sunday, Nov. 11 and is being hosted by the United States Olympic Committee with support from the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. The event takes place every two years and brings together leading experts from Adecco, a provider of human resource solutions, and various National Olympic Committees for an exchange of knowledge and best practices through workshops and break-out sessions. The aim of the forum is to expand the value and impact of the IOC Athlete Career Programme in supporting athletes worldwide, according to a press release.
"We are pleased to be returning to Lake Placid, a village steeped in Olympic tradition," said IOC president Jacques Rogge in the release. "These meetings are an integral part of the IOC Athlete Career Programme, and through the varied discussions and workshops they help to benefit athletes around the world. We look forward to building on the momentum from the past forums and expect a productive and informative gathering in November."
This year's forum is expected to be attended by approximately 100 delegates, including Adecco ACP country managers and their counterparts from more than 35 National Olympic Committees, along with members of the IOC Athletes' Commission, the release said.
"We are honored to host this important event on U.S. soil for the first time, demonstrating not only our commitment to the Olympic Movement, but to the future of athletes from all over the world," said United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun. "We look forward to hosting our international counterparts and allowing them to enjoy one of our great Olympic cities."
Lake Placid, which hosted both the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games, is home to one of three U.S. Olympic Training Centers. In addition, many of the venues used for the 1980 Games remain operational and host several national and international sports competitions each year.
"New York state is pleased and excited to join together with the United States Olympic Committee to host the 6th IOC Athlete Career Programme Forum," said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. "The facilities in Lake Placid are well known to Olympic athletes and enthusiasts worldwide."
"The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority is dedicated to making this IOC ACP Forum a memorable event for all attending," said ORDA chairman Pat Barrett. "Lake Placid has been a partner to the Olympic Movement for many years and produces multiple world cup events with the International Federations and world's National Olympic Committees each year. While here for the forum, that excitement can be experienced firsthand as the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation stages its men's and women's world cup competitions at the legendary Olympic Sports Complex track."