Empire State Winter Games opening ceremony, 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena, Lake Placid, NY. Great night kicking off the games as the stage manager and brushing shoulders with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and members of 2018 U.S. Olympic Team as they have a Lake Placid send-off to PyeongChang. #WinterOlympics #TeamUSA
Since the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, the Empire State Games were created as a sort of mini-Olympic games for a NYS championships in all winter Olympic sports. Thousands of athletes gather every year to compete and the games kick off with an Olympic-like opening ceremonies, complete with a parade of athletes in uniform carrying the banner of their respective sports. In the 80’s I had the honor to compete in and even win the Empire State Winter Games as a competitive figure skater. In the 90’s after making the National Team as an ice dancer, I came back to NYS as a guest star to perform with my partner in the opening ceremonies. This year, all three of my sons are competing in the Games (two in Nordic Combined and one in Cross Country).
For the 10th year in a row I had the privilege to also be involved with the games as one of the Producers and Managers of the opening ceremonies. This year, I was stage directing. The show involved the entrance of three-thousand athletes, bike stunts on zamboni’s and gondola cars, dignitary speeches, a laser show, slide show and later fireworks. It is a wonderful event for New York and a great way to showcase all of the wonders and deep Olympic History in Lake Placid.
Mimi Wacholder, Founder and Principal Consultant