Empire State Winter Games underway and thriving - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Empire State Winter Games underway and thriving

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) - The 34th annual Empire State Winter Games are underway, and organizers in Lake Placid are beaming.

A total of 1,436 competitors have registered for the competition. That's an increase of just over 20 percent from last year, and participation has grown by more than 55 percent in the four years it's been hosted by a regional coalition.

There have been notable yearly increases in athletes competing in figure skating, luge, synchronized skating, skeleton, bobsled, cross-country skiing and speed skating. Luge alone has grown from 21 competitors in 2013 to 68 this year, while registration for synchronized skating has spiked nearly 30 percent.

The opening ceremony was Thursday evening and competition begins Friday.

The games' primary sponsor is Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets.

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