Olympic Oval racing season opens tonight

LAKE PLACID – The Olympic Oval opened for public skating on Wednesday.

In addition to its use as a public skating facility, it also serves as the home base for the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club, which will host six meets throughout the next three months.

“We really wanted to expand our meet offerings this year, especially because it’s an Olympic year,” said Linda Sausa, President of the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club. “During Olympic years, there is always greater participation in all amateur winter sports, and we like to celebrate our unique sports heritage here.”

The Lake Placid Golden Skates Marathon this weekend is the first race on the agenda. It will include a 10-kilometer, 21k and 52k race.

The event is called “golden skates” because a solid gold skate pin will be awarded to overall winners.

The 10k starts tonight at 9:30, followed by Saturday morning’s races at 9 a.m. and Sunday’s slate at 8 a.m. Spectators are welcome free of charge.

The Lake Placid Speed Skating Club will also host the Jack Shea Sprints (Dec. 14-15), the Charles Jewtraw All Around (Jan. 11-12), the Irving Jaffee Single Distance (Feb. 1-2) and the Lake Placid Ice Marathon (Feb. 14-16). New this year is the Irving Jaffee Single Distance and the Lake Placid Ice Marathon, the second marathon of the season.

Lake Placid is the only artificial long track oval on the East Coast, and skaters from throughout the country and Canada flock to the former Olympic village to train and compete.

For more information on Lake Placid Speed Skating, go to www.lakeplacidspeed.com.