I’m here in Lake Placid, for the Ironman tommorow. This small little town was host to the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, and most of the venues are still are here and used. I saw the ski jump (looks pretty intimidating), the speed skating oval, the mountain where all the skiing races where done (also very intimidating..especially when you can’t see the top b/c of clouds/fog), and the big arena for the ice skating and hockey events. There are pictures and memorials all over town of the Olympics from 1980.
So yesterday, I was looking for the rental house I was going to “homestay” with a group of other triathletes. I followed the directions, and was sure I was at the house and walked right up and saw some people on the porch. So I walked in to say hi, and confused, the woman(Gail) on the porch asked who I was. Eventually I realized I was supposed to be one house down, and this was just a residential house. I got talking with Gail, and she had moved here just to help out with the Olympics back in 1979 or so. She was a young single nurse at the time, and helped at several of the events, also just liked to skii so why not come here for the Olympics. She told me a few stories of Eric Hayden(spelling) and seeing him win all of his speed skating medals that year, and how her future husband was at the “miracle on ice” when the U.S. defeated Russia; but she was watching in a bar. There must have been so much energy flowing through the this place. After the games were over she said she just never left the town b/c she loved it so much, and eventually married and settled down here. Now 30 years later, she and her family are doing pretty good in a nice house with her own business taking care of local rental properties. Her whole family was coming to visit for the Ironman — they all volunteer and help with it every year staying at her house. It was cool to talk with her, and think about how much this town meant to her, and a whole lot of other people. So hopefully I can feel some of that energy tommorow and use it to push me forward.