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International Children's Games open with ceremony at Olympic Center

January 8, 2019
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The 2019 International Children's Winter Games officially began Monday night, Jan. 7, at the Olympic Center's 1980 Rink with the opening ceremony. This is the first time the winter games have been held in the United States.

For the next three days, about 450 student-athletes from 33 different cities in 14 different countries will compete in a variety of winter sports such as hockey, speedskating, alpine and cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

Unlike the 2023 World Winter University Games, which is not only a big sporting event but also expected to be a driver for economics, the mission of the ICG is to spread worldly culture and create friendships among young people.

Article Photos

Lake Placid biathlete Max Flanigan lights the cauldron at the Olympic Center's 1980 Rink Monday, Jan. 7, during the International Children's Winter Games opening ceremony.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

During the opening ceremony, Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall addressed an arena full of kids from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Estonia, Hungary and many other nations, saying "you serve as a channel for world peace."

When the athletes aren't competing, they're bonding over games of foosball, ping pong, "Call of Duty" and ga-ga ball, which is like an Israeli version of dodgeball.

The opening ceremony featured a live performance by the Montreal-based circus group THROW2CATCH, songs by a local Adirondack choir of 150 students, a parade of athletes, the raising of the ICG flag, the athletes' and judges' oaths and a speech by ICG President Torsten Rasch. The master of ceremonies was magician and mentalist Gary Ferrar, of New York City.

The flame, which signified the opening of the ICG, was passed among athletes from every nation around the rink, and the cauldron was ultimately lit by hometown biathlete Max Flanigan. There are 67 local athletes from around the region representing Lake Placid.

Randall ended his speech with the slogan of this year's games: "Friendship and sport move mountains."

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(Lake Placid News Editor Andy Flynn contributed to this report.)



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