Lake Placid to take center stage on World Ice Skating Day

U.S. Olympic figure skating silver medalist Paul Wylie smiles Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

LAKE PLACID — The state Olympic Regional Development Authority recently announced that the International Skating Union has selected the Olympic Center as the main event partner for the 2023 World Ice Skating Day event to be held Sunday, Dec. 3.

The factors that made Lake Placid the ISU’s top choice as the main partner for this worldwide celebration are the newly modernized Olympic Center, its multiple Olympic indoor arenas as well as its historic outdoor James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval. Many legends have performed and trained on these ice surfaces, including Sonja Henie, Eric Heiden, Dick Button, Gustave Lussi, Oleg Protopopov, Apolo Anton Ohno, Shani Davis and Scott Hamilton.

After last year’s first-ever World Ice Skating Day and with members spanning 78 countries across five continents, the ISU is eager to spread the joy of ice skating in Lake Placid.

“We are delighted to take the lead in gathering the world together for these global festivities,” said ORDA President and CEO Ashley Walden. “December 3rd will be a day dedicated to celebrating ice skating in its many forms and associated sports, each of which have been part of our community for more than 100 years. Today they are all integral to our Olympic Village, and I encourage everyone to join us to show the world our passion for winter and being on the ice.”

A full slate of activities will be offered throughout the day.

“Our goal is to provide something for everyone — professionals, coaches, amateurs, and beginners of all ages and all skating sports — to come together in a unifying series of events to learn new skills, practice, share passions, enjoy their sports and get new people of all ages involved,” said Olympic Center General Manager Chadd Cassidy.

In addition to hockey games and activities throughout the day inside the three Olympic Center arenas, Olympic Center staff are organizing a full day of celebratory activities and events featuring all types of skating. Activities and events will be offered through the early afternoon on the speedskating oval followed by a series of afternoon skating shows and exhibitions inside the Olympic Center.

Admission to recreate and spectate at these activities is free of charge. Skate rentals are available for $10 for all ages at all the day’s activities.

Oval schedule

9-9:30 a.m. — Learn to Skate Session 1 and Open Skating

9:30-10 a.m. — Practice Session 1 and Open Skating

10-10:30 a.m. — Speedskating demonstration by the Speed Skating Club of Lake Placid and Henry’s Kids

10:30-11 a.m. — Speedskating Relay Races

11-11:30 a.m. — Ice Resurfacing

11:30 a.m. to noon — Learn to Skate Session 2 and Open Skating

12:30-1 p.m. — Practice Session 2 and Open Skating

1-1:30 p.m. — Parade of Nations by the Skating Club of Lake Placid

Empire Room schedule

1:30-2:15 p.m. — Meet and greet with Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team, Ice Dance champions Oona and Gage Brown, and Olympic silver medalist in figure skating Paul Wylie

1932 Arena Schedule

2:30-3:15 p.m. — Athletes prepare for performances and warm up

3:15-3:25 p.m. — Olympian Paul Wylie welcome message and introduction of dignitaries

3:25-3:30 p.m. — Local youth figure skating exhibition

3:30-3:35 p.m. — Oona and Gage Brown ice dance exhibition

3:35-3:40 p.m. — The Skyliners synchronized skating team exhibition

3:40-3:50 p.m. — Flash Mob

4-5 p.m. — Disco Festival and Public Skate

Food trucks and music will add to the day’s festivities, and the meet and greet event is a special chance to meet and talk with true legends of the skating sports. The entire list of events is open to everyone.

“Our goal with the World Ice Skating Day is to encourage many countries all over the world to participate with one venue being the center of the World Ice Skating Day,” said ISU President Mr. Jae Youl Kim. “Lake Placid’s history with winter sports and ice skating, makes it an ideal setting.”

Additional information about the World Ice Skating Day events and venues is available on the Olympic Center’s website at lakeplacidolympiccenter.com and the International Skating Union website at www.isu.org.

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