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ADIRONDACK LIVING: Come to train, stay for life

Olympic silver medalist Gordy Sheer makes the most of all seasons

June 1, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - To Gordy Sheer, Lake Placid isn't just the training ground that led him to three Winter Olympics and a silver medal in men's doubles luge at the 1998 Nagano games. Lake Placid is home.

"I have a lot of memories as a kid growing up doing luge here," said Sheer, who will turn 47 on June 9. "I just kind of fell in love with it. I always had a sadness that if I stopped doing luge, I wouldn't be in Lake Placid anymore."

Now a legend in the sport, Sheer works as the marketing director for USA Luge and takes full advantage of the community he never wanted to leave.

Article Photos

Gordy Sheer wakesurfs along the surface of Lake Placid. It’s one of his favorite summertime activities.
(Provided photo)

In the winter time, Sheer likes to cross-country ski. Some of his favorite spots are the Jackrabbit Trail, John Brown Farm State Historic Site and Craig Wood Golf Course. If the ice is thick enough, he'll ski across the frozen surface of Mirror Lake. Sheer also likes to snowshoe the high peaks whenever he gets the chance.

Winter, however, is the busy season for Sheer and USA Luge; it's their season for international competition.

"I do love the winter. I just don't have as much time to enjoy it," he said.

In the summer, one of Sheer's favorite activities is wakesurfing on Lake Placid lake. It's pretty much surfing, but the waves are made by a motorboat instead of tides.

"Surfing for real is just a great feeling," Sheer said. "It's very relaxing, but at the same time, if you're on a big enough wave, it can be frightening and give you an adrenal rush, not unlike luge. Wakesurfing is definitely tamer, and the wave goes on for as long as you can stay on it. My wife isn't a big surfer just yet, so I'm trying to convert her."

On Wednesday nights, you can find Sheer at the Delta Blue restaurant on Main Street, where he hosts the open mic night and plays drums. He actually began sliding and playing drums in seventh grade, but he saw drumming as somewhat of a distraction. Sheer and what he calls a "rotating cast of characters" are tight. As a backup band, they know how to hold it down. It doesn't matter what type of music a performer wants to play - folk, rock, blues, metal, jazz, punk, rap - Sheer and his band adapt in seconds.

"You never know who's going to walk through those doors," he said, "which has actually made me a much more versatile player. Being the backup and not the star is really fun because you give whomever is up their time to shine."

A native of White Plains, New York, Sheer decided to settle in Lake Placid after retiring as an Olympic slider in 2000, two years after he won a silver medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, with doubles partner Chris Thorpe. That's when he moved from the ice to the office as USA Luge's director of marketing and sponsorships.



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