Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Bobsled Run - Lake Placid 1932 and 1980
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Lightnin Bug
N 44° 13.100 W 073° 55.390
18T E 586016 N 4896687
Quick Description: The Olympic Sports Complex Sliding Track was used in the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 8/29/2010 2:10:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM9KG4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member DopeyDuck
Views: 31

Long Description:
The original tracks used for the 1932 and 1980 Olympics are what this waymark is all about. Visitors can take bus tours and also participate in a bobsled run on a portion of the 1980 Track. Wikipedia does a great job of describing the track.

"The original bobsled track was built in 1930. According to the National Park Service:

Carved out of wilderness and surrounded by forested land on all sides, the one and one-half mile long Olympic Bobsled Run was constructed in 1930 and built specifically for the 1932 Winter Olympic Games. The course was designed by Stanislaus Sentzytsky, a renowned German course designer, who designed a course that was radically different from its European counterparts. The Lake Placid course was longer, steeper, and featured a more pronounced drop in curves than European runs, which allowed for steadier driving and faster speeds than those obtained on prior bobsled events. After the American team won two gold medals and one silver in 1932, bobsledding, previously unknown in America, captivated the country’s interest, and U.S. teams dominated the sport until 1956. Although portions of the course have been retired, parts of the original Olympic Bobsled Run continue to be used for training and recreation.

As Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Bobsled Run, the structure was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on February 4, 2010. The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of February 19, 2010.

Prior to the 1932 Winter Olympics, bobsleigh racing took place at the steep hill where the Intervales ski jump would eventually be located. The attendees were delighted by the speeds of the bobsleds though several teams crashed during the run, sending two members of one team to the hospital as a result. The Intervales track only lasted one season (1929–30). Led by Henry Homburger, the first track was surveyed and constructed during 1929-30 at Mount Van Hoevenberg, located in the Whiteface Mountain area though it was in spite of protests of using state-owned lands for construction of the facility for environmental reasons. After construction took place during August-December 1930, the track opened for use on Christmas Day 1930. This track was 2366 meters long with 26 curves, a vertical drop of 228 meters, and an average grade of 9.6%.

After the 1932 games, the first 829 meters and ten curves of the track were eliminated, shortening the track's length to 1537 meters with 16 curves, and an average grade of 9.3%. In 1949, the track became the first venue outside of Europe to host the FIBT World Championships[1] though it would start with tragic results when Belgian bobsledder Max Houben was killed during a practice run off of "Shady" curve prior to the event. The Belgian team withdrew as a result.

It would be another twelve years before the track hosted another world championship following safety improvements to the track. By this time, track officials had established a relationship with the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT). Sergio Zardini's fatal crash at the "Zig-Zag curves" on 22 February 1966 would lead to further safety improvements.

Following the world bobsleigh championships of 1969, 1973, and 1978, many race officials of those championships would serve on the organizing committee for the bobsleigh part of the 1980 Winter Olympics. The 1932 track was demolished in 1978 with actual construction taking place during September 1978-February 1979 with the creation of a reinforced concrete, artificially refrigerated bobsleigh track. The bobsleigh track was approved for competition in December 1979. In fall 1977, a separate luge track for the 1980 Games, the first one in the United States, was constructed with completion in time for the test competition in February 1979. During preparations for the 1980 Games, a combined two-man bobsleigh and luge track was considered, but abandoned to high cost and the track was redesigned with permission from the International Luge Federation (FIL). Following the 1980 games, both tracks hosted their respective world championships in 1983.

Skeleton racing debuted during the 1990s with the bobsleigh part of the track hosting the world championships in 1997. By the late 1990s, parts of both tracks were demolished to make way for a new track that was constructed for the 2000 Winter Goodwill Games that was completed in January 2000. The track has been part of the Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex since the end of the 1980 Winter Olympics as part of the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA)."

Source: Wikipedia
Olympic Games: Lake Placid Winter 1932

Olympic Games No 2: Lake Placid Winter 1980

Sport held at venue: Bobsleigh (Winter)

Sport held at venue No 2: Luge (Winter)

Additional sport(s) held at venue:
The new track now hosts Skeleton!


Start and/or Finish: Start and Finish

Web Address with Additional Details: [Web Link]

Reference Supporting Olympic Use: Website

Details of Reference Supporting Olympic Use:
Wikipedia entries and the Lake Placid ORDA Authority Websites


Current Use: Bobsled Experience Rides for a fee and tourism.

Olympic Games No 3: Not listed

Parking Area: Not Listed

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