Press-Republican

March 5, 2014

Parades to honor Olympic athletes

KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

LAKE PLACID — An Olympic homecoming in the Olympic village begins with a parade.

Both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake have planned salutes to local athletes who competed in Sochi, Russia.

LAKE PLACID PARADE

The Lake Placid fete honoring area Olympians is set for Sunday, March 16, to begin with a festive procession down Main Street, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Lake Placid’s plans were scheduled to fit the busy schedule of athletes still deep in the competitive winter sports season.

“Many 2014 Winter Olympians, highlighted by bronze-medal winner Erin Hamlin (luge), double-bronze medalists Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton (bobsled) and silver medalist Andrew Weibrecht (alpine skiing) will participate,” said Sandy Caligiore, who is helping coordinate the welcome home after having just returned from Sochi.

“Other members of Team USA that competed in Sochi will participate,” Caligiore said.

Jaime Greubel, who lives in Lake Placid and won a bronze in bobsled, will not be home for the parades, he said.

Lake Placid’s Olympic parade is a collaboration of the villages of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, the Town of North Elba, U.S. Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid Central School, Lake Placid Business Association, Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.

Based in Lake Placid, USA Luge showed its mettle at the XXII Olympic Winter Games, drawing immense attention to the sliding sport and its athletes.

“We appreciate the efforts that Lake Placid always puts forth to honor our Olympians and continue the legacy of the community that we call home,” the luge team said via email.

“And to have an athlete march with an Olympic medal makes this parade more impactful for our organization.”

The parade down Main Street in Lake Placid will start at the intersection with Cummings Road and end at the Cottage Café with speeches from the Sochi medalists.

The event will conclude with a fireworks display over Mirror Lake provided by Clauss Chiropractic, Caligiore said.

SARANAC LAKE PARADE

Returning Olympians will celebrate in Saranac Lake, as well, with a parade celebration surrounded by young athletes.

The Saranac Lake Women’s Civic Chamber is hosting its Olympic welcome home at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 26.

Officials at the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday announced details of their Main Street Olympic gala, saying, “We cordially invite our regional communities to join in our celebration as we honor our hometown Olympians.”

The parade will begin in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise parking lot at 54 Broadway in Saranac Lake, continue up Broadway to Main Street and end at the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium, “where Olympians will make presentations and be available for photos and autographs,” the chamber said.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau is looking forward to having the athletes home.

“We’re very proud of our Olympians as they represented us with great enthusiasm and honor, so it will be great to welcome them home with some pomp, circumstance and good old-fashioned community spirit,” Rabideau on Tuesday.

The afternoon parade will coincide with students’ release from school that day, and already, clubs, sports teams — both in school and at area ski centers at Dewey Mountain and Mount Pisgah — are preparing banners for the big day.

“We do a lot with the kids,” Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Katy Van Anden told the Press-Republican.

“There are quite a few groups of kids marching in the parade. The High School Band, kids at Dewey Mountain — I know that the schools are already working on the banners.”

“We are all so excited to honor our Olympians with the parade,” said Kelly Morgan, chairwoman of Women’s Civic Chamber.

“Four years ago, our communities filled the streets and the Town Hall, and I am sure they will again. The energy is unbelievable.”

Olympic athletes and their families from the entire region have been invited, Van Anden said. They will be welcomed like royalty, Morgan said.

“The athletes will be riding in the parade on the royalty float from Winter Carnival, which has been re-fitted with Olympic rings.”

Email Kim Smith Dedam:kdedam@pressrepublican.com

LOCAL OLYMPIANS

Thirteen of 22 New York state athletes who competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi live in the North Country.

Lowell Bailey, Lake Placid, biathlon.

Tim Burke, Paul Smiths, biathlon.

Annelies Cooke, Saranac Lake, biathlon.

Nicholas Cunningham, Lake Placid, bobsled.

Billy Demong, Vermontville, Nordic combined.

Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, ski jumping.

Jamie Greubel, Lake Placid, bobsled.

Erin Hamlin, Lake Placid, luge.

Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, Alpine skiing.

Chris Mazdzer, Saranac Lake, luge.

Matthew Mortensen, Lake Placid, luge.

Justin Olsen, Lake Placid, bobsled.

Jayson Terdiman, Lake Placid, luge.