By ROBIN CAUDELL
PLATTSBURGH -- The Skating Club of Lake Placid celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Early Snowbird Club members taught people how to skate on Mirror Lake before the 1932 Olympic Skating Rink was even built.
"Before the Olympics, they formed a club called the Adirondack Club, but the name changed to the Skating Club of Lake Placid," said Iris Gladd, club president. "We follow the rules of the United States Figure Skating Association."
A child can be as young as 3 and start skating. Basic-skills programs are offered for ages 5 and above. Freestyle I is for skaters who have passed basics and have begun to test.
Gladd said they have an extensive adult program, including hockey skills and speed skating.
The club, whose mission is to teach skating, has 250 members.
Some people come for the Olympic Center Skating School during the summer, Gladd said, and some join the club to train. The club works in coordination with they Olympic Regional Development Authority to host competitions, exhibitions and ice shows.
"We have 12 to 15 professional coaches that the club contracts with to teach our group lessons," Gladd said. "Our program is very reasonable. We trade our volunteer time for ice time."
The top competitive skaters at the juvenile and intermediate levels, about 325 skaters, will come to the Junior National Championships Dec. 8 through 13 in Lake Placid.
"It's a big event," Gladd said. "This is the first step of the testing. "¦ Many of these competitors will be the ones in three or four years who will be going to the Olympics."