The Skeleton and Bobsled World Cup Comes to Lake Placid
You may want to be outside amongst the frosty ground patiently waiting for snow to stay in Lake Placid. We have received a few flurries now and then. We wait patiently for the snow and ice to stick around and open up our winter line of activities. We got new crampons last year and can't wait to try out all that ice! Until then, I can watch Olympic and World Class athletes participate on the icy bobsled track this week during the Skeleton and Bobsled World Cup at the Olympic Sports Complex.
Though the athletes will be practicing all week (November 5-7) the event starts on Thursday, November 8 and goes through November 10, 2012. Last year the World Cup finished in Lake Placid and this year Lake Placid is the kickoff to the world event. To date there are over 30 countries that will flood into town to participate, many who will be go on to participate in the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
The World Cup varies in structure from the Olympics. For the World Cup event each team will take two runs while during the Olympics four runs are taken. As a spectator with little knowledge of the sport, I am relieved to find out that the rules are simple. The team that crosses the line first wins and the team with the lowest combined time at the end of the event receives the most points
There will be no public rides during the event to maintain the best quality track for the athletes. No worries! There are plenty of great viewing spots. According to Jon Lundin, Media Specialist at Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) there are plenty of great spectator areas to view the races. Check out the starting location to see how athletes get those sleds to speeds upward of 75 MPH for Skeleton or 82 MPH for Bobsled. Another great viewing spot is called "Shady Two," which gives the spectator a true appreciation for the speed and power as the sleds rush by. The Olympic Sport Center Bobsled track has 20 curves and another popular viewing area is called "The Heart," encompassing curves 17, 18 and 19.
"There will be handouts so anyone unfamiliar with the sport will be able to catch up quite quickly," says Lundin. "There is also free admission to anyone bringing one non-perishable food item per person to benefit our local area food pantries. This is something we've always done throughout the holiday season. There are plenty of people in need and this a great platform to be able to help."