Young athletes gather in Northern N.Y. for international games

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) Bailey Bartholomew has always loved winter sports.

"As soon as I could walk, I've been on skates," Bartholomew said.

This week, he's hanging out with and competing against other 12-15-year-old's who share the same dedication.

"Yeah, I met people from Denmark, Switzerland and Canada," he said.

That's what makes the eighth International Children's Winter Games so special. This year's theme is Moving Mountains by Friendships.

"The values of the International Children's Games are very much derived from the values of the Olympics, so it's connecting the world and bring the world together through sport competition," said Eileen Mowrey of the International Children's Winter Games.

Four-hundred-and-fifty athletes from 14 different countries are competing in eight different sports.

Lake Placid has been planning for the games since being awarded the bid one year ago. It was a big win for the area. Not only is this the first time the games have been held in the two-time Olympic village, but it's also the first time these games have been held on U.S. soil.

"It's a great opportunity for us once again to be on the world stage and welcome the world here," Mowrey said.

"Things that happen here, like in Lake Placid, would never happen in Slovenia. Not a lot of people are nice like they are over here," said Gasber Kajnc of Team Slovenia.

When these young athletes aren't training or competing, you'll probably find them at home base, an interactive room designed to unwind, home to video games, foosball and an interactive photo booth.

"We're actually headed there now, it's a lot of fun," Bartholomew said.

Kids like Bartholomew are taught to play their respective sports within the boundaries. But this week, they're breaking boundaries by learning about cultures from across the globe.

The games go on until Jan. 11. They are free. Click here for more information.