1980 Lake Placid - XIII Olympic Games

  • Main Street, Lake Placid

For the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, the Olympic Center was expanded to include two new arenas, a complete snow-making system was installed at Whiteface Mountain, the old ski jump was torn down and the existing 70- and 90-meter towers were built, and an Olympic Village was built to house the athletes. History was made time and time again during the Games.

American Eric Heiden skated to victory after victory in men's speed skating. Heiden won every event, earning five gold medals and breaking five Olympic records and one world record.

The U.S. Hockey Team captivated the world in what many consider the greatest Olympic victory ever. Under the guidance of coach Herb Brooks and leadership of captain Mike Eruzione, the team beat all but one of their challengers. Dubbed "The Miracle on Ice, their stunning 4-3 win over the Soviet Union is generally considered one of the greatest moments in sports history. The upset cam en route to their gold medal victory over Finland.

The Austrians were so confident of their prowess in Alpine skiing that they imported and erected a building - the "Austria Haus" (still standing on Saranac Avenue) where they could celebrate their victories. Indeed, they were successful, winning four gold medals.

The legacy of the 1980 Games has been preserved, and its heritage upheld, by the New York State Legislature, which created the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to ensure public enjoyment of the Olympic venues. You can tour many of the Olympic Sites and even take a bobsled or luge ride.