While summer athletes are competing for spots on their respective countries’ Olympic teams for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, their winter cousins are readying for a season of World Cup championships as a precursor to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
And it comes as no surprise that Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington and the Olympic Village in Lake Placid will be smack-dab in the middle of winter competition, where several countries around the globe will begin the process of selecting their winter Olympians and where athletes may even earn Olympic berths.
It’s going to be an exciting season at Whiteface, and winter-sports enthusiasts may want to begin planning their treks to see some of the best competition the world has to offer, right in our own backyard.
The mountain will host three World Cup events this season: bobsled and skeleton, freestyle skiing and luge.
The World Cup competition begins Nov. 5-10 when bobsled and skeleton racing starts at the combined bobsled/luge and skeleton track at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex.
Last February, the U.S. bobsled and skeleton teams captured a record five medals, including four gold, when the milelong track hosted the 2012 FIBT world championships.
Next year, the 2013 world championships are in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and a run-up to the 2014 Winter Games.
The world’s best freestyle and aerial skiers will return to Lake Placid and Wilmington Jan. 14-19. It will mark the 27th consecutive year the region has hosted World Cup freestyle skiing. The mogul competitions will take place at Whiteface, while the aerial events will be held at the Olympic jumping complex.
World Cup competition ends with luge racing Feb. 3-19. This will be the first international luge competition on the 20-curve track since the 2009 FOL world luge championships.
Other international events include the Nor/Am biathlon Feb. 23-24 and America’s bobsled and skeleton racing March 4-10.
So if you’re looking to get your winter-sports fix, it won’t be long.
We in the North Country are proud of our world-class winter-sports facilities, a short drive from just about anywhere in the tri-county area. As such, we should all take advantage of the various competitions this winter. But dress warm.