The village of Saranac Lake has selected a hometown hero and Olympic champion to be its first inductee into the new Walk of Fame.
Bill Demong is the first selection made by the Walk of Fame's selection committee. The Vermontville native earned a gold and silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, becoming the first American to reach the podium in Nordic combined.
The village created the Walk of Fame last year to recognize notable members of the greater Saranac Lake community.
Mayor Clyde Rabideau called Demong an "outstanding citizen."
"[He] gave us tremendous pride and honor and exemplifies sportsmanship, American determination and drive," Rabideau said.
The selection committee considers nominees who are current or former residents of Saranac Lake who have distinguished themselves on a national or international level in the fields of science, entertainment, sports, commerce, philanthropy, and government.
To honor the first inductee, the village used profits from last year's Mayor's Cup to purchase a large, customized bronze plaque that will sport the village's logo, the words "Walk of Fame," and an inscription reading "William Demong, Olympic Champion."
Rabideau says the plaque will be placed on the front fa ade of the Harrietstown Town Hall. The town council has approved the plaque's placement.
The original plan was to place the plaques on sidewalks throughout the village, but Rabideau says they'll use building facades instead, because of the damage winter can inflict on roads and sidewalks.
"We have many other outstanding nominations and inductees going forward, but right now, it's Bill Demong's hour," Rabideau noted.
An induction ceremony and gala reception is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Hotel Saranac.