INTRODUCTION: The town of Lake Placid, in New York State, has welcomed the idea of staging the 1980 Winter Olympics.
INTRODUCTION: The town of Lake Placid, in New York State, has welcomed the idea of staging the 1980 Winter Olympics. Its bid was approved by the local authorities and two public votes. The organising committee has set out to reconcile two potentially conflicting aims: to provide facilities worthy of the occasion, and yet not to spend wastefully on buildings that cannot be used again, or do anything to spoil the area's natural beauty.
SYNOPSIS: At Raybrook, about five miles (8 kms) from Lake Placid, there is a state-owned rehabilitation centre. It has been used as a sanatorium, and to treat drug addicts. It is now empty. This will form the core of the Olympic Village, where the athletes will be housed. Extra building will be paid for out of Federal funds, and when the Games are over, the whole site will be taken over as a Federal prison. It will not be left as a "white elephant".
Whiteface Mountain will be the scene of the alpine ski-ing events: downhill, slalom and giant slalom. It is a well-established ski centre, and most of the courses already exist, though some improvements will be made. This is important, because under the conservation laws for the Adirondack Park no new mountain may be equipped with ski-ing facilities, and no trees can be cut down.
A new cable lift has already been installed, and is in use by holiday skiers. The resort also has equipment for covering the pistes with artificial snow if need be; so there should be no danger of having to cancel or move any events because of the weather.
The 70-metre jump at Intervale was built for the 1932 Winter Olympics and was all that was required for the Nordic Championships and other international events. But now a 90-metre (yard) jump will have to be constructed alongside it. This has also produced an environmental row. The famous abolitionalist, John Brown, is buried nearby, and some critics said that to put a ski-jump towering over his grave would be an insult to his memory. Other people argued that, on the contrary, it would be a tribute. The question has now been settled, and the Adirondack Park Authority has given approval for the jump to be built.