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Lake Placid in media spotlight

November 27, 2013
MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - With the 2014 Sochi Olympics just a few months away, journalists from around the country are looking for Olympic-related stories, including those from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid.

State Olympic Regional Development Authority spokesman Jon Lundin said his organization has worked with Yahoo Sports, ESPN, BBC, NBC, NBC Universal and CBS's Showtime Sports on putting together stories that will air in the days leading up to the Olympics this February.

"We've actually been working hand-in-hand with those media outlets," Lundin said. "Lake Placid is back in the spotlight for what it did in 1932 and 1980. It's always great to have that added attention."

Article Photos

File photo/Heather Sackett
Jim Rogers leads a tour of the Olympic facilities in Lake Placid in March 2009. Rogers gave a similar tour this summer to Clem Taylor, a producer for “60 Minutes,” giving the journalist the idea to do a story on the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. (File photo by Heather Sackett)

Lundin said that journalists have mainly focused on the 1980 Olympics and three storylines associated with them. The most popular is the "Miracle on Ice" story about the U.S. men's ice hockey team upsetting powerhouse Soviet Union in the medal round. The U.S. went on to claim gold with a win over Finland.

The second storyline is speedskater Eric Heiden winning five individual gold medals, during which he broke numerous Olympic records.

The third is "how such a small community could host an Olympics twice and do it successfully," Lundin said.

One of those journalists who is working on the Lake Placid Olympic story is British television presenter and historian Dan Snow, who was in town in November working on a one-hour show for the BBC.

"We're looking at the fact that Lake Placid, this kind of smallish place, has had it twice in its history," Snow said, "and the importance of how winter sports really began in North America in Lake Placid and this area. No telling of the Winter Olympics is complete without talking about the Miracle on Ice."

Snow said his crew has talked to members of the organizing committee and journalists who reported on the 1980 games, among others.

He said the show will air in England and may be shown on BBC news channels around the world, including in the U.S.

It will be "timed with the Sochi games so people have an understanding, not just of the games themselves but of the history of the games, how they came about, how they've taken the shape they are today," he said.

Another journalist who visited the Lake Placid region recently was Clem Taylor, a producer for CBS's "60 Minutes." Taylor said his piece is being done for "60 Minutes Sports," which airs on CBS's Showtime Sports channel.

Taylor didn't want to get into too many specifics about the story because it's still a work in progress and won't air until just before the Sochi games in February. He did say crews were in Lake Placid in October and are expected to return again before the end of the year.

"It's really a story about the 1980 games but based less on the stories about the athletic accomplishments, which we all know about, and have become legend," Taylor said. "It's really about the men from Lake Placid who brought the games to town and who served on the organizing committee, and the fact that it was really the last small-town Olympics."

Taylor said he got the idea for the story while on a tour of the Olympic facilities in August with 81-year-old Lake Placidian Jim Rogers, who was on the organizing committee for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games. Rogers is the former owner of local radio station WNBZ.

"My wife and daughter and I went on a tour with Jim, and I was very much taken by the story of the town founders of Lake Placid, who worked so diligently to not only bring the 1980 games to Lake Placid but pull them off," Taylor said.

Rogers said Taylor mentioned the idea for the story during the tour and then called him back about a week later as a follow up.

"It's fun," Rogers said. "It's very flattering that he thought I told a story that he thought was big enough to be making '60 Minutes.'"

Enterprise Senior Staff Writer Chris Knight contributed to this report.



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