Upgrades aim to keep skiers training on snow in Lake Placid year-round
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) - There might not be any snow on the ground now, but that’s not stopping athletes in Lake Placid from training for the upcoming skiing season!
“I love it here so much and I’m thankful that the younger ones still have an opportunity to come here and train, I can coach them the same way I was coached,” said Gavin Fritz of the New York Ski Educational Foundation.
Fritz specializes in coaching freeskiing. When they’re not hitting the powder in the winter, they’re still training kids all year-round to reach their goals.
“It starts with the trampoline,” Fritz said. “We get down the basic fundamentals. We teach them what they desire to learn, then when they are ready, we move onto the water ramp and then the idea is that winter you have the experience and the confidence to take it on snow, then eventually do it in a competition.”
The facilities have trampolines and a large pool with a jump where athletes of all ages can train year-round.
Like much of Lake Placid, the ski jump next door to the trampolines and pool is under construction.
An aerials coach, Jaroslav Novak was a Czechoslovakian trampolinist before teaching gymnastics for 50 years. He’s excited for facility upgrades that can hopefully bring even more elite skiers to the area.
“The good skiers may be idols for the other guys and they may even believe that if they do it, I can do it or be more motivated it’s all about motivation,” Novak said.
One of the largest construction undertakings in Lake Placid is the ski jump. First built in 1978, it’s being updated through funding with the Olympic Regional Development Authority to bring it up to modern-day standards.
“It’s definitely a sport that doesn’t get a lot of attention outside of Olympic years and having an updated venue for all of America to train on is going to be huge for us,” NYSEF Ski Jump Coach Colin Delaney said.
In fact, it will have a refrigerated base so athletes will be able to ski jump on snow when the outer air temperature is up to 50 degrees and summer ski jumping will also be coming back for the first time since 2018. This will allow the country’s best ski jumpers to come back and train in Lake Placid. This will give young kids in the community a track to train their whole careers right in the North Country.
“They’ll be here training which is super inspiring for our younger athletes. Just having a whole pipeline for our younger athletes and seeing what they’re chasing day to day when they’re training is going to be super awesome,” Delaney said.
Most of the Lake Placid infrastructure upgrades will be completed by this winter.
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