Torch still burns bright in Lake Placid for 1980 Winter Olympics

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) Lake Placid is celebrating 40 years since the Olympic Winter Games were last held in the village. Our Kelly O'Brien sat down with two natives who experienced it all firsthand.

"I can remember certain scenarios like it was this morning," said Sandy Caligiore, a former reporter.

Around this time 40 years ago, things in the village of Lake Placid looked a bit different.

"Picture no vehicles and wall to wall people," Caligiore said.

The 1980 Winter Olympics brought world-class athletes from around the world to the small village and created history that would be talked about for decades to come.

Caligiore was a radio reporter working his first gig in the industry. Little did he know his first taste of the Olympics would lead to a lifetime of them.

"For sure a once in a lifetime in your town that may not ever happen again," he said.

He says while the historic moments like Eric Heiden taking home five gold medals or the closest cross-country finish in Olympic history have stuck with him, the Miracle on Ice game tops his list.

Caligiore was calling the iconic miracle on ice game for his station WNBZ.

"It's like you've got to be kidding me... did that really just happen?" he recalled.

"The crowd went wild," Jack LaDuke said. "Everybody in the arena went wild."

That same moment is also on the top of the list for Channel 3's own Jack LaDuke, who took time off from his day job to be the audio and visual director of the games. He had about 22 people working with him to make sure things ran smoothly.

"You keep track of 250 news photographers, it's a full day's work," he said.

LaDuke said the days were long, but they were worth it.

"You went to bed and rolled over once and got off the other side and went to work," he said.

Both say they would love to see another Olympics come to our region but with how much growth the winter Olympics has seen, it would need to be a partnered expense. Caligiore and LaDuke say maybe if they were to match up with Albany or Montreal.