Empire State Winter Games to be held Feb. 6-9
LAKE PLACID — Organizers of the 34th annual Empire State Winter Games (ESWG) will welcome the return of the annual competitions Feb. 6 to 9.
This is the fourth year the event has been hosted by a unique and diverse regional coalition. For the first time the Town and Village of Tupper Lake will play a role in the ESWG, hosting women’s hockey.
Upwards of 1,000 athletes are expected for the events that will be held at the Olympic venues managed by ORDA in Lake Placid and Wilmington, along with other sites in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths.
Among additions to the sports menu will be a squirt hockey tournament with youngsters competing for ESWG medals. Also, adaptive participation is expected to increase, including a sled hockey exhibition and demonstration on Saturday as part of the ESWG Fest on Feb. 8.
The ESWG Opening Ceremony, free and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Olympic Center’s 1980 Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. That will occur one night prior to the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. A torch run will begin Feb. 5 and will travel through the North Country to its destination in Lake Placid at the Opening Ceremony.
Athlete registration is now available at empirestatewintergames.com.
Twenty-one different disciplines will be contested, including six different adaptive contests. In recent years, organizers have also included events such as skiercross, boardercross and slopestyle competitions, most coming under the banner of the United States of America Snowboard Association.
There is no ESWG fee to spectate, however some of the Olympic venues charge an entry fee. The Family and Friends Olympic Sites Passport includes admission to: Olympic Center (figure skating, hockey), Olympic Jumping Complex (ski jumping) and the Olympic Sports Complex (bobsled, luge) for just $25.