Olympic Winter Games have twice been held in nearby Lake Placid, in 1932 and 1980. In both years, Saranac Lakers participated as athletes and volunteers, and certain Saranac Lake facilities were used as support venues.
According to The Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT), seventeen Olympians were born in Saranac Lake and many more Olympic hopefuls have called it “home.”
A number of changes in the region came about due to the 1980 Olympics, including major road improvements and the rehabilitation of the old New York Central line from Utica through Saranac Lake to Lake Placid; the original plan was for the railroad to remain open, but it failed by late 1980. In 2000, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad resumed operation during summer tourist months, before being shut down by the State in 2016.
Petrova Field was used for parking for the 1980 Olympics, so Petrova Rink was not built that year and was never resumed after that.
Lake Placid News, May 23, 1930
SARANAC CAN HOUSE 3000 OLYMPIC GUESTS
While the Lake Placid Olympic committee is endeavoring to get up-to-the-minute information as to the number of guests the resort can accommodate at the time of the Third Olympic Winter games of 1932, nearby communities have not been idle in completing their plans for assisting Lake Placid to take care of the throng of Inter-national visitors two years hence.
A house-to-house survey of accommodations in Saranac Lake elicited the information that that village can house 3,245 extra guests at the time of the Olympic games.
A committee of the Saranac Lake chamber of commerce conducted the survey, which shows that substantial assistance can be rendered by that resort to Lake Placid in its efforts to provide adequate housing facilities for ail who will come to view the great international contests in 1932.
Olympic Athletes born within the Saranac Lake, New York, Central School District include:
Bobsleigh, 1932 (See The Red Devils)
- Four Man, Silver Medal, 1932
- Two-Man, Gold Medal, 1932
External link: Short film on the 1932 Winter Games
- Art Mollner - won a gold medal as a member of the 1936 team
- James P. Morgan
- Brent Donald Rushlaw, (also on U.S. Olympic Bobsleigh Team: 1980, 1984, 1988)
Ice Hockey, 2002
- Andrea Kilbourne, Ice Hockey 2002
Nordic Combined, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010
- Bill Demong — 2010 gold medal in Individual Large Hill/10km, silver medal in Team Large Hill/4x5 km
The 2010 Olympic Winter athletes from the Saranac Lake area included:
- Tim Burke
- Bill Demong
- Peter Frenette
- Chris Mazdzer
- Mark Grimmette
- Lowell Bailey
- Haley Johnson
- John Napier
Information compiled by Dan Sullivan, LMT MPA, of Adirondack Therapeutics Massage Therapy and the Adirondack Massage Cruise, 2/2010.