LAKE PLACID — The Empire State Winter Games announced its return Wednesday after a one-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 42nd Empire Games is scheduled for February 2022 and will run Feb. 3-6 at various venues in and around Lake Placid.

Approximately 2,000 athletes from New York State and beyond are expected to participate in more than 30 sports throughout the Adirondack region.

“I’m excited that we’ll be able to have a full program,” said Ashley Walden, Chief Executive Officer of the Adirondack Sports Council. “Sports are very important towards the development of youth and this is a highlight for young aspiring athletes, across the state and beyond.”

Last winter, the Games’ organizing committee honored athletes across the state with the inaugural Athlete of the Year Award. Twenty-eight finalists, one from each sport offered, were chosen based on their commitment to winter sports and their community. Figure skater Amanda Demmerie of Camillus was chosen as the 2021 Athlete of the Year.

The Games are expected to bring in more than 5,000 friends and family members and up to 15,000 spectators.

“We’re excited to attract so many athletes back and experience the excitement of participating in this event,” said Jim McKenna, Chair to the Adirondack Sports Council. “These Games create a tremendous vibe for everyone who competes.”

Winter Games events include Alpine and Nordic skiing, Nordic combined, ski orienteering, ski jumping, snowboarding, freestyle skiing and freeski, bobsled, luge, skeleton, figure skating, ice hockey, snowshoeing and winter biking. The Adaptive sports include Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, bobsled and sled hockey.

Sports venues are located in Lake Placid, Wilimington, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. Venues include the Lake Placid Olympic Center Herb Brooks Arena, Lake Placid Olympic Jumping and Sliding complexes, Mid’s Park in lake Placid, Whiteface Mountain, Paul Smith’s College VIC, Saranac Lake Civic Center Ice Rink, Dewey Mountain Recreation Area, Tupper Lake Memorial Civic Center, Olympic Cross Country and Biathlon Center and Mount Pisgah.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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