Let the Games Begin
The Empire State Winter Games bring thrilling competition and festival vibes to New York’s former Olympic village in February 2018.
On the eve of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the 38th Empire State Winter Games bring the spirit and excitement of fierce winter sports competition back to Lake Placid, New York, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. With 2,500 athletes expected to compete in more than 30 events across 17 sports and three days, the multi-sport destination festival gives amateur athletes the opportunity to compete on a world-class stage.
During the ESWG, six former Olympic venues in Lake Placid will host amateur athletes in 14 sports. These Lake Placid sites are familiar to Olympians such as alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht, biathletes Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke, and luger Chris Mazdzer. Each competed at the ESWG early in their careers before earning their place on Team USA.
“I’ve always loved competing in Lake Placid,” says Weibrecht, a two-time Olympic medalist who grew up in the village. “These are truly world-class venues, and there are very few places worldwide with the ability to host all winter sports.”
The ESWG invites athletes and spectators alike to participate. The Opening Ceremony on February 1 at 6 p.m. is free and open to the public and will be held in the Herb Brooks Arena in the Lake Placid Olympic Center, a venue made famous by the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey game between Team USA and the Soviet Union.
The 2018 ESWG also includes an expanded outdoor village, located on Lake Placid’s Main Street. The ESWG Village hosts the ESWG cauldron, a Jumbotron with livestreaming, ESWG TV event coverage, live music, spectator speed-tubing, a zip line, samples of soups and chili prepared by local chefs for Taste of the Games, and the 2018 ESWG winter bike competitions. It may not be PyeongChang, but the atmosphere will be the same.
Too big for any one town, the excitement of the ESWG extends beyond Lake Placid to towns and villages throughout the greater Adirondack region. One of 2018’s most exciting new events, the inaugural Rail Jam competition, will take place at Malone’s Titus Mountain on February 3. Skiers and snowboarders will compete for a total $8,000 in prize money at a venue perfect for spectating.
While ESWG does not charge spectators admission to events, some Olympic Sites do require an entry fee. For the best deal and the full experience, purchase an ESWG Olympic Site Passport through Whiteface Lake Placid, which gets spectators into all the Olympic venues for just $30.