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Time for Albany to get behind a Lake Placid ’26 Winter Olympics bid

August 6, 2015
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

While it seems that 2026 may be a long time away, potential Winter Olympic host cities, including a number of U.S. cities, are already lining up and promoting themselves.

This past winter there was a lot of talk and articles in various local North Country news media about a possible New York state/Lake Placid 2026 Olympic bid, but after the snow melted away there has been little mention about a potential bid. The effort needs to be ongoing and we need to keep the momentum going!

Time is of essence, and the sooner Albany and Gov. Cuomo endorses a bid and forms an exploratory committee, the more traction and national PR the bid will get in advance of the official selection process. The IOC will decide on the host city in 2019, before then the USOC has to be persuaded to back a 2026 Winter Olympic bid, and New York state/Lake Placid will then have to compete with other U.S. cities like Denver, Salt Lake City, Anchorage, etc. for the USOC nomination.

We need to get on the bandwagon sooner than later and promote ourselves! If we lose out for 2026, it may be another 16-20 years before we have the right opportunity to bid for the Winter Olympics again.

There will always be opponents and concerns with hosting the Olympic games, but it can be done cost effectively, profitably, and with long lasting positive economic impact for the North Country and Upstate New York.

Simply bidding for the Olympics, even if unsuccessful, would generate a tremendous amount of publicity for the Adirondack Park/North Country. There are 40-plus million people living within reasonable driving distance. Many of whom have no knowledge of the year around beauty and activities the North Country offers, but probably would vacation closer to home, and spend their money in New York state, if they had better familiarity of what we can offer in right in their back yards.

We have the basic foundations/venues, legacy, experience, local support/volunteer culture, and hardworking experienced staff at the venues. New York City could host big spectator and team events, such as the ice events and the main ceremonies. It is these events/arenas that normally cost a lot of money to build and develop, but New York City already has new arenas and infrastructure in place! Lake Placid/North Country could host all the other events.

It would require some new facilities, athlete accommodations, infrastructure (road) improvements, but they are almost all necessary for the North Country to sustain long term dependency on tourism.

Hosting the Olympics would generate enough return on the investment over the long run to pay for those upgrades.

Do you believe in Miracles?

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Knut Sauer

Chestnut Ridge and Jay, New York



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