Posted by: David D. Daggett | August 9, 2010

Past, Present, and Future

Past, Present, and Future

       The opportunity to see to past, present, and future is quite dramatic and thrilling. Even in sports it is rare to see past, present, and future at the same time.

A taste of the Olympics

Part of our trip to Lake Placid included seeing the facilities from the 1932 and the 1980 Olympics. We were impressed that this small town did not allow these facilities to become rusted relics. The same facilities are used daily and the town also hosts the National Olympic Training Center for winter sports, along with the National Sports Academy.

The speed skating oval where Eric Heiden won five gold medals hosts the Ironman transition area and finish line. This was just a taste of all the venues in the area that we were able to visit.

The 1932 Olympic ice arena is open to the public. We walked in and were marveled by Olympians from decades ago. Some were there for continuing sport, some to coach, and some just to be part of the supporting community. There were current Olympians there practicing, and youngsters practicing with aspiring hopes and dreams.

Speaking of dreams, in the same building is the Herb Brooks ice arena. Named in honor of the hockey coach who coached the win against the Russians in 1980, this is where the “Miracle On Ice” occurred and has been dubbed the greatest sports event of the past 100 years.  Just being there brought tears to my eyes.   We watched youth chasing their own dreams during an elite camp for Canadian and American youth hockey players.

At the ski jump complex we watched past, present, and future Olympians practice aerial and freestyle skiing. They practice by jumping into an extra large swimming pool. This was both spectacular and entertaining. This visit also included a trip to the top of the 120-meter ski jump . . . that was really high!

Down the road at Mt. Van Hoevenberg they practice bobsled, luge, and skeleton events year round. These same facilities that were used in the 1932 and 1980 Olympics are still used for championship events, training, and recreation and were recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a thrill for enthusiasts to enjoy past, present and future champions up close in Olympic venues. Images and memories of “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” truly give us chills.

Enjoying the thrill,

David

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