Olympics Near Us: Visiting Olympic Sites in Lake Placid and Montreal

By Victoria@celebratetheweekend
In Canada
Feb 19th, 2018
9 Comments
7033 Views

I love watching the Olympics and celebrating human potential! The Olympics makes for so many great stories.  Here are some of the few from the Pyeongchang-2018 which is happening as I write this:

German Figure skater Alyona Savchenko in her 5th Olympics at 34 years old – three ice partners and several countries later – has finally earned the gold medal in pairs event.

Alyona Savchenko and Bruno Massot

U.S. figure skater, “quad king” Nathan Chen, one of the gold medal favorites at 18, completely breaks apart for a 17th place finish in the short program to then go for broke and win the free skate with historical six quad jumps.

Highlights of Skate America 2017 figure skating Gran Prix in Lake Placid, NY

Nathan Chen during his short program at Skate America-17 in Lake Placid

Czech speed skater Martina Sablikova invited her rival, Russian skater Voronina to train together for the 5000m race when Voronina found herself without her coach or training group at the Olympics.  The ladies won silver and bronze in their race respectively.

While one day I hope to attend the Olympics and watch the competition live, this fall, we came quite close by visiting historic Olympic sites within the driving distance from our Boston home – in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada.

LAKE PLACID OLYMPIC SITES

Over Thanksgiving break we visited Lake Placid, New York, for Skate America figure skating Grand Prix.  This quaint lake-side town at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains hosted 1980 and 1932 Olympics.  Olympic history is kept alive everywhere in Lake Placid which still plays a major role in international sports scene with numerous high-profile events throughout the year.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Lake Placid, New York: the flags still reign like it is 1980

1980 Olympic sites, including Olympic Museum, Olympic Sports Complex (with Bobsled, Luge, and Skeleton tracks and Cross-Country and Biathlon Center) and Ski Jump Complex are open to the public via individual admission or a combined Olympic Sites Passport (which we enjoyed courtesy of the New York State  Olympic Regional Development Authority).  Be sure to check their website for special events schedule, hours and admission.

Several of these Olympic sites invite you to have an actual sporting “experience”, whether it is skiing or snow shoeing on one of the trails at the Cross-Country Center or speeding down the track in the bobsled guided by professional drivers and brakesmen.

Although we shied away from the opportunity to try the real Olympic tracks, we enjoyed our own share of Olympic “hands-ons” at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum.  It is small but packed tight with Olympics memorabilia and ever-changing Exhibits.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

At the Olympic Museum

Lake Placid Olympic Museum is located at the base of the Olympic Center which also houses the famous Herb Brooks Arena (named after the Miracle on Ice coach) where US men’s hockey team made their miracle on ice over the unbeatable Soviet team during the 1980 Olympics.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Where the Miracle happened: at the Herb Brooks Arena

With our Olympic Sites Passports in hand, we also visited Olympic Jump Complex.  We took the elevator to the observation deck of the K-120 meter jump where Adirondack High Peaks are seen through the eyes of the Olympic ski jumpers heading to the end of the ramp before flying the length of the football field.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

On the top: Olympic Ski Jump Complex.

 

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Olympic Ski Jump, Lake Placid.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

On Top of 1980 Olympic Podium

 

 

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Olympic sleds

 

MONTREAL OLYMPIC ARENA

Earlier in the fall I spent the whole week at Montreal’s Olympic Arena, the site of the 1976 Olympic Games, during Gymnastics Worlds 2017.  It is here, 41 years ago, at the Montreal Arena during 1976 Olympics Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci posted a first perfect “10” in a major gymnastics competition!  While we were in town for the Worlds Gymnastics Championships 2017, the area between the Olympic Tower and the Biodome was renamed  to Nadia Comaneci Plaza (yes, Nadia was there and we got to take a picture with her).

 

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

With Nadia Comaneci at the Montreal Olympic Arena

After taking your photo with the Olympic rings, sign up for the Guided Tour of the stadium which is included with the Since 1976 Exhibit admission.

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Plaza Nadia Comaneci

Or, you can do a self-guided tour of the Stadium that will be sure to include a run on the Olympic track!

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Running on the Olympic Track

Then ride to the top of the Montreal Tower, world’s tallest reclined structure at 165 meters, which was originally designed to hold the cables for the retractable roof of the Olympic Stadium.  The multi-story observatory was added later and it is now a great place to look over the city amidst the photos of the Olympics’ most memorable moments.

Our favorite things to do on a long weekend escape to Montreal- with or without kids

Riding in the elevator to the Top of Montreal Tower

 

 

Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

Credit: Montreal Olympic Arena

Olympic velodrome has been converted to the indoor nature Museum Biodome and is a great way to spend a couple of hours with kids of different ages.

Here are the tips for visiting Olympic venues in Utah from Tips for Family Trips  – the site of 2002 Winter Olympics.

Have you ever visited an Olympic site or the actual Olympics?

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Olympics Near You: Visiting Olympic sites in Lake Placid, NY and Montreal, Canada

We are linking up with #TheWeeklypostcard collection of travel stories via Travel Notes & Beyond Blog.

 

Travel Notes & Beyond

9 Comments to “Olympics Near Us: Visiting Olympic Sites in Lake Placid and Montreal”

  1. Anisa says:

    I have been loving watching the winter olympics too, sad they are over so fast. There are so many great stories. One of the ones that I was drawn to the most was British short track speed skater Elise Christie and her terrible luck. Neat that you were able to visit some olympic sites. I have only visited summer olympic sites. Would love to see the actual Olympics one day. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
    Anisa recently posted…The National Palace of Sintra: Another Sintra Must SeeMy Profile

  2. Sara says:

    I bet this was super fun with your family!! I visited the Munich Olympic site when I was in college. It had a really great viewing platform that was cool to see at night, but for the most part, there wasn’t a lot there there! These sites look more interactive!

  3. Anda says:

    A trip in the footsteps of the Olympics sounds like a great family outing. We sometimes go skiing to Squaw Valley, California, where the Winter Olympic Games were held in 1960. I’d love to visit Montreal sometimes and see the Lake Placid area. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. susanna says:

    I’ve visited the museum at Squaw Vally – always very interesting! Thanks for this – hope to visit someday!

  5. I love how the Olympics brings us all together. I’ve only ever visited the Sydney Olympic site. There’s something special about standing where greatness has been achieved. I hope to visit the one an Montreal one day.

  6. Jody Robbins says:

    Living in an Olympic City (Calgary) I heartily endorse visiting these sites. It’s a great way get some activity in too as many of the winter ones offer biathalon, bob sled or other adventures at these sites.

  7. What a wonderful idea, to add an Olympic site to travel plans. It’s amazing to think of what these athletes have accomplished!

  8. Sharon says:

    What a fun place to visit and share with your family. It looks cold, which would have been perfect weather for the Olympics here!
    Sharon recently posted…The Invalides — Where Paris History Comes AliveMy Profile

  9. Amy says:

    Wow great place to visit! Looks like you guys have enjoyed the visit there! It looks like a perfect place to visit! Thanks Victoria for the idea!
    Amy recently posted…Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 – 2018 Top Models ReviewedMy Profile

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