USA Bobsled and Skeleton
From the Intern's Desk
My name is Nick Rendall and I am the 2009 summer intern for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF) in Lake Placid, N.Y. The transition from my home on the rugged front range of Colorado to the thick woods and pristine lakes of upstate New York has indeed been an interesting one, but so far the experience has been nothing but enjoyable. I arrived in Lake Placid on May 31st and was welcomed by a rare late season snow storm, which is something that wouldn't be too out of place in the Rockies this time of year, but threw me completely off guard here in New York.
It was very easy to find the Olympic Training Center (OTC) as there were as many signs for the Olympic facilities as there were for the town of Lake Placid itself. The 1980 Winter Olympics put Lake Placid on the map and the facilities remain one of the main tourist attractions of the area to this day. The town is little more than 2,600 people, but has a certain charm that so many mountain towns possess. I arrived at the OTC tired but excited, and anxiously prepared for my first week.
It's interesting walking around the training center and seeing so many athletes that are already famous or that will be in the coming years. I was surprised at how friendly many of the athletes are. Here you have individuals that are near the best in their sport at least in the United States, if not the world, yet they do not wear it on their sleeve. If only our professional athletes could take a lesson from our Olympians.
For the most part, you can determine what type of athlete someone is based on their build. The bobsledders are easily the biggest and strongest here, which makes sense considering the size of the sled that they have to push. Skeleton and luge athletes are generally slightly slimmer and smaller than the bobsledders, and the biathletes resemble buff cross-country runners. The smallest athletes are the freestyle aerial skiers, many of whom are still in high school, but can already fly with the best of them.
Lake Placid may not have the greatest night life to offer, but the surrounding beauty of the Adirondacks more than compensates for it. There are enough mountains and lakes to explore to keep me occupied every weekend this summer. While the mountains out here lack in elevation (my home town is higher than nearly every peak in New York), they give unrivaled views of the area and very popular to climb. It's going to be a good summer.
Until next week!