Sliding on Lake Placid’s Combined Track to Begin

Shady II at the IBSF World Cup

Sliding on Lake Placid’s Combined Track begins Thursday
(ORDA Press Release)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — There are undeniable signs of fall. Leaves change color. Days and nights are cooler. The days are shorter, and it seems as though you’re spending more of your weekend raking.

For world-class bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes, a sure sign of fall is the opening of the combined sliding track at Mt. Van Hoevenberg’s Olympic Sports Complex, in Lake Placid, N.Y. Conditions and weather permitting, the athletes will only have to wait until Thursday, Oct. 8, when the track officially opens for the beginning of the 2015-’16 sliding season.

“The ice that we’ve put on the track has been holding well and everyone here is excited to get the season started,” said track general manager Tony Carlino.  “This year we applied a special coating to the outside of the track and it seems to be improving the ice retention thereby saving energy.”

American luge and bobsled athletes will be the first down the mile-long, 20-curve course on Thursday. Members from USA Luge open sliding at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, followed by bobsled athletes at 10:30 a.m. The U.S. skeleton team is slated to begin training on the track, Monday, Oct. 12.

Shady II at the IBSF World Cup
Shady II at the IBSF World Cup

It’s shaping up to be another busy season at the Olympic Sports Complex. Both USA Luge and USA Bobsled and Skeleton will begin holding team selection races later this month, before the world’s best sliding athletes arrive in Lake Placid later this winter to compete in World Cup events.

World Cup racing on the track begins Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, with luge action. Over the two-day period, athletes will compete in men and women’s singles and doubles, as well as the popular team relay event.

Introduced to the Olympic Winter Games, two years ago, in Sochi, Russia, the team relay is a combination of men and women’s singles and doubles all starting from the same “start gate.” Once the first athlete crosses the finish line, they must touch a pad that will open the gate to the next slider. The team with the lowest combined time wins.

World Cup bobsled and skeleton racing gets underway Jan. 8-9, 2016. Athletes competing in two and four-man bobsled, women’s bobsled and men and women’s skeleton will try to tame one of the world’s most demanding courses.

“As always we’re excited to have World Cup action in all three of these exciting sliding sports,” noted New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) chairman Pat Barrett. “Watching these sports on television does not do them justice. Watching these sports in person, feeling and hearing the speed and power of the sleds whizzing by you at 80-plus miles-per-hour is an electrifying and unforgettable experience.”

Additional events on the track this season will include Intercontinental Cup skeleton racing, Nov. 16-20, 36th annual Empire State Winter Games racing, Feb. 4-7, and North American Cup bobsled and skeleton action, March 10-13.