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Winter Olympics sports that amateur athletes can try in Lake Placid

The Winter Olympics kick off this weekend in Pyeongchang, but you don’t have to travel all the way to South Korea to catch Olympic fever.

About 5 1/2 hours outside of midtown Manhattan, Lake Placid in the Adirondacks has been the site of two Winter Olympics, and the area predictably sees tourism boosts every four years.

“Because our Olympic venues are still in use for World Cup competitions and also open to the public, we see a spike in overnight visits, day trips and tourism pre- and post-Olympics,” said Carrie Gentile, communications coordinator at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks.

Here’s a look at some of what’s on offer indoors and out (just leave the freestyle jumping to the pros):


Go on a bobsled ride at the Olympic
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Speed demons can hop in a bobsled — manned by a professional driver and brakeman — at the Olympic Sports Complex, when it’s not being used for competitions. Speeds can reach as high as 55 mph during the 40-second ride. The bobsleds can fit up to three adults, along with the two crew members, and passengers must be 48 inches or taller. ($95/adults, $90/teens, $85/12 and under, includes T-shirt, commemorative photo and lapel pin; reservations recommended, RSVP at 518-523-4436 or, more info here)

Ice skating

Skate a loop around the Olympic Oval in
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Practice your pirouette — or just try not to fall — at one of several rinks open to both public skating and athletic training. They include the indoor Lake Placid Olympic Center (the site of the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Winter Olympics) and the outdoor Olympic Skating Oval, a 400-meter speed skating track. At the oval, you can also relax by a fire pit and warm up with some hot chocolate after you’ve retired your skates. (Indoor skating $6/adults and teens, $4/ages 7-12 and seniors, oval skating $8/adults and teens, $5/ages 7-12 and seniors, skate rentals $6; more info here)


Mt. Van Hoevenberg
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This unique Winter Olympics sport combines freestyle skiing and rifle shooting — and at Lake Placid, you can learn both. Start with an hourlong cross-country skiing lesson at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, then practice your marksmanship on the Olympic Biathlon Range. Participants must be 13 or older. ($55, includes lesson, one-day trail pass, range shooting and rental for skis, boots and poles; reservations recommended, RSVP at 518-523-4436 or, more info here)


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