(LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK, July 26, 2007) If Lake Placid can't host another Winter Olympics anytime soon, maybe it could get the new Youth Olympic Games instead.
The Lake Placid Regional Winter Sports Committee is seeking to host the first International Youth Olympic Games in 2012, Lake Placid-Essex County Visitors Bureau President James McKenna said.
"It's not the Olympics, but it's something funded by the Olympic Committee."
The Regional Winter Sports Committee is chaired by Essex resident Alexander "Sandy" Treadwell, who has contacted the U.S. Olympic Committee to line up support for Lake Placid's bid for the youth games.
The Sports Committee will also ask for support from the Olympic Regional Development Authority and Gov. Eliot Spitzer to make the bid.
McKenna said the International Olympic Committee will commit $15 million to $20 million for the Youth Olympic Games, which are expected to draw about 1,000 athletes ages 14 to 18. A summer version will be held in 2010.
The games "" to be called YOG for short "" were approved at the International Olympic Committee's 119th session in Guatemala City this month.
"We owe this to the youth of the world," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a news release.
He said the new games are the flagship of the committee's strategy for youths, which includes initiatives like an educational project on Olympic values, a dedicated Web site for kids and a campaign highlighting Olympic values to young people.
The International Olympic Committee is looking for places with pre-existing Olympic facilities, McKenna said.
"Essex County is one of the few counties in the world that could do that."
Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and its event facilities have been maintained by ORDA.
McKenna said the Lake Placid region may not get the first youth games, but will host them eventually.
"Over the next 20 years, I think we'll be selected as one of the sites."
The Youth Olympic Games are expected to be held every two years. An evaluation committee will visit candidate areas before a host is selected.