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OLYMPIC HISTORY: New exhibit remembers Olympic skiers

August 20, 2015
By ALISON HAAS , Lake Placid News

It all starts with a pair of skis. The journey of an Olympic skier begins just like anyone else who has ever strapped skis to their feet.

They fall and get snow in their face. They get up and then start going farther and faster. Somewhere along the way, they become an Olympian.

In the Lake Placid Olympic Museum's upcoming exhibit, "Learning to Ski: Memories of Olympic Skiers," memories of Olympians from when they first learned to ski along with images of their early experiences on skis will be featured starting this September.

Article Photos

Ron MacKenzie teaches 1960 nordic ski Olympian Joe Pete Wilson and friends on Stevens Hill, circa late 1940s.
(Photo courtesy of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum)

To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, a reception will be held at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum on Friday, Sept. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. and will be free to the public. Scheduled to appear that evening are several Olympic skiers, both past and current.

The Lake Placid region has sent 15 skiers to compete at the Olympic Games starting with ski jumper Art Devlin. He may have been the first to take his skis to the Olympics, but he was not the last.

From backyard skiing to lollipop races, the exhibit will be a fun way for the community and visitors to explore how our local skiers began their Olympic dreams. Largely at the beginning it was family, friends, and a love for skiing.

Athletes that will be featured include: Art Devlin, Joe Pete Wilson, Craig Lussi, Jim Page, James Shea Sr., Jay Rand, Joe Lamb, Casey Colby, Billy Demong, Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Haley (Johnson) Stewart, Andrew Weibrecht, Peter Frenette, and Annelies Cook. Photographs of the athletes at the Olympics by Nancie Battaglia will be included along with ski equipment used during the Games.

Funded in part by the Lake Placid Education Foundation, staff is also encouraging the community to share their own personal stories of when they too learned to ski by either writing down their memories or making an appointment to have their "learning to ski" oral history recorded.

On the night of the celebration, the museum will be holding a silent auction to help benefit the not-for-profit museum's educational programming and future exhibits. Cocktails and light refreshments will be available.

To view this exhibit, please visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum this September located at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, New York. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 518-302-5326 or visit our website at



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