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Organizers lay out plans for 2014 Empire State Winter Games

A ski jumper from Lake Placid competes during the Empire State Winter Games.

A ski jumper from Lake Placid competes during the Empire State Winter Games. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— McKenna added there will also be celebrations and events held throughout the games.

“We want to make this a more festive event not only for the athletes and their families but for our local communities as well,” he said.

This is the fourth year the event has been hosted by a regional coalition that includes North Elba, Harrietstown, Brighton, Wilmington, Jay, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Essex and Franklin County, ROOST and the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority. Over 1,000 athletes are expected for the games, with events taking place at the Olympic venues managed by ORDA in Lake Placid and Wilmington along with other sites in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths.

The ESWG Opening Ceremony, free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. in the Olympic Center’s 1980 Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. A torch run will begin Wednesday, Feb. 5, and will travel through the North Country to its destination in Lake Placid at the Opening Ceremony.

According to organizers, 21 different disciplines will be contested, from alpine skiing to figure skating to women’s ice hockey, including six different adaptive contests, with a higher level of competitive adaptive alpine racers who will ski the challenging Draper’s Drop course at Whiteface Mountain. Adaptive races in biathlon are set for the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg, with adaptive cross country sprints on the Olympic Oval.

Athlete registration will be available starting Nov. 25 on the Games website empirestatewintergames.com.

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