LAKE PLACID —
ESPRIT DE CORPS
Traveling with them next week is a strong contingent of experienced support team personnel, media reps and Olympic coaches.
Lake Placid’s Mayor Craig Randall and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President Jim McKenna were invited to Sochi to renew tourism ties as part of the International Olympic Mayor’s delegation.
Sandy Caligiore, long an Olympic authority from Lake Placid, is press officer for USA Luge.
Doug Haney, from Saranac Lake, is the chief press officer for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association team.
“I can tell you that hometown support, from an area that lives the Olympic spirit, provides an extra push to the athletes,” Caligiore said in a recent interview.
“They know that knowledgeable people are following them from a distance, communicating with them, sending them best wishes. It makes being 7,000 miles away from home feel a bit closer.”
At 19, Nina Lussi pushed ever closer to her Olympic ski jumping goal. Starting from Park City last summer, she earned a solid seventh-place in Lillehammer’s Continental Cup in September.
That seat on the Women’s Olympic Ski Jumping team slipped just beyond reach.
But her experiences on the road to Sochi is exciting all the same.
“The amount of media attention women’s ski jumping has been getting these past few months is simply unheard of!” she told the Press-Republican via email.
Non-stop competition fuels the athletes and pushes them to do their utmost best.
“It is so thrilling to see everyone stepping up their game in preparation and every time you go to the Center of Excellence here in Park City, you know you need to push yourself further than ever before,” Lussi said.
Lake Placid’s penchant to generate Olympic spirit stays with her.
“The amount of support streaming out of the Lake Placid region is amazing. Some of my teachers from Lake Placid High School are probably my biggest fans,” Lussi said.