Posted at: 02/21/2014 4:10 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2014 7:25 PM
By: Scott Kilbury
The Winter Olympic Games are filled with moments that can inspire all of us. Even seeing the athletes on the medal stand can give you chills.
The public can relive those Olympic moments any time of the year at one of the largest Olympic exhibits in the world.
Lake Placid, New York is the only place in the entire nation to host two Winter Olympic Games. The evidence is all around you as you pull into town, from the giant ski jump towers to the 1980 Olympic cauldron still standing in the center of an equestrian park.
It’s hard to believe that right off Main Street is the very skating rink where the U.S. won five of its Olympic gold medals in 1980, compliments of Eric Heiden. The other was Team USA’s win at the Herb Brooks Arena.
Just underneath the arena seats, on the first floor of the complex, you’ll find more on Team USA and then some in Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The only museum to have more Olympic memorabilia is in Switzerland.
A medal from 1924 is one of the museum’s most prized possessions.
Jon Lundin, Olympic Regional Development Authority, said, “The medal from 1924 was won by a speed skater Charles Jutra. He won it in the 500 meter speed skating race in France. The first medal awarded happened to be gold and only medal won from U.S. was won from somebody from Lake Placid.”
An old bobsled is one of many relics from the 1932 games.
Lundin said, “You're open in these sleds. There's not a whole lot protecting you. You have to have some serious courage.”
Did you know every Olympian receives a participation medal? You can see one from every Olympics including the Summer Games at the museum.
You can see all the different shapes and sizes of an Olympic torch and there is memorabilia from skiers and skaters.
The most decorated speed skater from the 1980’s is Eric Heiden. He can be seen in action on continuously running video of the 1980’s games, as well as the Miracle on Ice.
It’s no wonder a place like this is the only place to have an athlete in every Winter Olympic Games.
Lundin said, “You can grow up in Lake Placid and have those dreams and it be a reality. You can really do that.”