Inaugural Torch Relay

Empire State Winter Games Introduces Inaugural Torch Relay from NYC to Lake Placid


Unifies Entire State Ahead of Three Days of Amateur Sports Competition

LAKE PLACID, NY (December 5, 2017) – The inaugural 330-mile Empire State Winter Games Torch Relay from NYC to Lake Placid will kick off January 29 in Manhattan. The path will follow the much-anticipated Empire State Trail north, making its way to the Opening Ceremony of the 38th games at 6pm on February 1 in the 1980 Olympic Arena on Main Street, Lake Placid.

The Torch Relay will call attention to the commitment New York State has to the Empire State Winter Games’ (ESWG) participating towns and villages, and the more than 2,500 athletes and winter sport enthusiasts across the Northeast and Canada who take part in the Games. While the Games’ organizers have yet to confirm the start location, they have hinted that potential torch relay starting locations include Central Park or the World Trade Center. 

“In addition to calling attention to the Empire State Winter Games, we want to encourage people from across the region to get outside and play,” said Tait Wardlaw, ESWG Director. “What better way to inspire others than to run from Manhattan to Lake Placid.”

The Empire State Trail (EST), a Governor Andrew Cuomo initiative that, when completed in 2020 will run from Manhattan to the Canadian Border (as well as from Buffalo to Albany), will be the largest multi-use trail in the country, and will give enthusiasts unprecedented access to outdoor recreation. Much of the EST route is accessible year-round, including in winter for fat tire biking.

ESWG’s Torch Relay will run along the EST up the Hudson River Valley Greenway before stopping in at the Capital Building in Albany. From Albany, the route will continue North on Route 9 through towns and villages in the Adirondacks before arriving in Lake Placid, just in time to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony on the evening of February 1. Torch Relay participants will include past ESWG and Olympic participants from across the state, current ESWG athletes, and others. Special guests will run the first and last legs of the Relay, according to Wardlaw. 

Of the Empire State Trail, Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo said, “The Empire State Trail, once completed, will be the nation’s largest state multi-use trail network, providing residents and visitors alike unprecedented access to New York's outdoor treasures.”