By Elizabeth A. Dimick
The Empire State Winter Games (ESWG) is a multi-sport event founded in 1978, by Governor Hugh Cary. It is officially over seen by the Federation Internationale De Ski (FIS). The games quickly turned into a seasonal tradition to not only to the community members of the Adirondacks but to New Yorkers state wide. Funding was then cut for ESWG due to a FISCAL crisis in 2009. The games were to be permanently discontinued in 2010. The event is described by the ESWG official website as being: “The largest multi-sport amateur athletic sporting event in North America.”
It comes as no surprise that the communities surrounding the ADK pulled together quickly with the founder’s son Michael G. Carey to form the none-for-profit Empire State Sports Foundation. The ESSF has kept the games running since the plan to discontinue ESWG was announced.
On February 7th 2013, The Empire State Winter Games is set to kick off its 33rd annual Olympic style regional tournaments. The sporting event begins on Thursday Feb. 7th 2013 and runs until Sunday Feb.11th 2013. Several event venues are to be hosted by ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority).
There will be no lack of excitement at ESWG with events that will have competitors facing incredible challenges and showcasing their abilities. The most exiting competitions include:
Alpine Skiing: Competitors make a speedy dash down the mountain course comprised of paired red and blue poles that form gates. The competitors must pass both ski tips and feet through the gates to have it count. The course has 55-75 pole gates for men, and 40-60 pole gates for women. Poles are 30ft apart by a vertical distance and 6ft apart by horizontal distance. The competitor with the shortest time wins.
Ski Cross (SX) and Snowboarding Cross (SBX): Competitors first run a timed solo run to establish seeds for heats. (It is remarkably similar to qualifying in a NASCAR race). As the individuals qualify for their positions, the top two will advance to the next heat and the bottom two drop out. Seeds get to choose the lane they are at the starting gate of the main competition. The competitors line up at the starting gate then speed around gates on a racetrack full of banked turns, jumps, and rollers. The event has proven tremendously exciting for the spectators and competitors alike!
Biathlon: a word used todescribe a sport comprised of two or more disciplines.it is usually referring to the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and riffle shooting! The biathlon competition is a race where one skis on a cross-country track, which is broken up by areas where you must shoot at a target from either a prone or standing position with a small bore riffle. The contestants shooting performance can add time or distance to completion for the competitor. The person who can finish the race with the shortest time wins.
Bobsledding: 2-4 people push a nose heavy sled on an ice track for 50 meters then climb aboard for a speedy and thrilling ride to the finish line. There times are counted to the 100th of a second to determine the winner, so any mishaps during any part of the race can prove disastrous for the competitors at the finish line. With speeds over 100mph, this event is sure to get you heated up.
The Luge: It is much like Bobsledding except, competitors ride lying on their backs face up in a sled and race down an ice track. The speeds of this game are said to reach as fast as 89mph, steering only with calve and shoulder muscles.
The Skeleton: Unlike bobsledding, skeleton has a competitor lying face down on his toboggan like sled flying down an ice track! The competitor can experience forces as strong as 5G’s during the rocketing ride down the track! The only breaking or steering the person has are especially designed rakes on the toes of their boots or to shift their weight on the sled. Though this is not an Olympic sport there is World Championships as well as a World Cup in this division.
Figure skating: The most talented adults and children from all the corners of N.Y. come to ESWG to compete in the figure skating tournament. There are a multitude of divisions and metals to be won in many of the divisions.
There are so many events going on at ESWG, it is impossible to list them all in one article. The devote efforts of the communities surrounding the Adirondacks coming together to save the ESWG event is incredible. Come and help them celebrate this annual event that has meant so much to them!
For more information on Empire State Winter Games please visit:
Or contact them at:
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB
2608 Main Street,
Lake Placid, NY 12946
Winter 2013 http://www.AdkGuestInformer.com 15