Lake Placid celebrates 40th anniversary of 1980 Olympics

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) It has been 40 years since the 1980 Olympics were hosted in the village of Lake Placid. To celebrate the big anniversary, they're taking a look at the Olympics past, present and future.

"So much of what we celebrate here is what the nation celebrated 40 years ago," said Jon Lundin of the Olympic Regional Development Authority or ORDA.

Excitement filled the Adirondack air as the torch was lit to kick off the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. To date, Lake Placid's Olympic Village is the only place in the U.S. to host the Winter Olympics twice, and they take pride in that.

"We're still going strong. I mean, the Olympic venues are getting upgraded all the time. We breed Olympians. We have an Olympic training center here," said Carrie Gentile of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism or ROOST.

"We're the only community in the United States that has sent at least one athlete to every Olympic Games," Lundin noted.

Many of those athletes will be present for the anniversary. The list is still being finalized but organizers say there will be more than 30 Olympians from various Winter Games in the village over the 10-day event. Folks will see hometown heroes like Andrew Weibrecht, but the village is also bringing in out-of-town athletes who competed in the games, like the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team.

"This has never happened since the 1980 Games," said Paul Wylie, the sports director of ORDA and an Olympian himself.

Wylie won a silver medal for figure skating in 1994.

And you might even see a player or two from the legendary U.S. Men's Hockey Team that beat the Soviet Union during the cold war. There will be live Q&As with the athletes, a 5K on ice for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation and events throughout the community, like a showing of Disney's "Miracle" at the Palace Theatre and opportunities to learn about winter sports at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

"It is definitely a communitywide event, kind of an all-hands-on-deck for those 10 days," Gentile said.

The fun kicks off on Feb. 13. They will have 10 days of events for the athletes and those who want to come and visit for the celebration. Click here for all the details.