Paralympics photography on display

LAKE PLACID – The action of the Paralympics is currently on display at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

The photos at the Olympic museum, 16 in all titled “Spirit in Motion,” were taken by International Paralympic Committee Photographer Lieven Coudenys, from past Paralympic Winter Games for handicapped athletes.

Coudenys, who is from Belgium, said in an email that he was not aware his photos were currently on display in the United States.

“It is my work – the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) didn’t tell me my photos are in the US right now!” he wrote.

He said he also has a larger 45-frame photo exhibit, which includes photos from both Summer and Winter Paralympics.

Coudenys has been to a total of nine Paralympics, including most recently Sochi. He has also been to Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.

Lieven’s photos in Lake Placid are from past Winter Paralympics including Salt Lake City, Torino and Vancouver. Athletes in the photos competed in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.

Alison Haas, the director of the museum, said the photos had toured other locations in the past. She wanted to bring them to Lake Placid to raise awareness about the Winter Paralympic Games, which came to a conclusion on March 16 in Sochi.

Haas, who also writes a column in the Lake Placid News about Olympic history, said the Sochi Paralympic Games were not given the same attention as the Olympic Games there.

Neurologist Dr. Ludwig Guttman was an originator of the Paralympics, organizing the International Stoke-Mandeville games in 1948 for British World War II veterans with spinal injuries. This served as the prototype for the Paralympic Games, which was first officially held in 1976.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.

Coudenys’ Paralympic photos can also be viewed at

Across town at the LPCA, Paralympic photos are mixed with Winter Olympic photos by local photographers Nancie Battaglia and Lou Reuter. Among the Paralympic pictures are prosthetic devices used by athletes for such sports as alpine skiing, nordic skiing and luge. Similar devices are on display at the Olympic Museum.