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Olympic Regional Development Authority submits bid to host 2026 Olympic sliding competition

 Lake Placid welcome sign adjacent to the Horse Show grounds
Jane Hooper
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism
Lake Placid welcome sign adjacent to the Horse Show grounds

The Olympic Regional Development Authority, which manages and maintains the Olympic venues in Lake Placid, has submitted a bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic sliding competitions.

The 2026 Winter Olympics will be held in Milan-Cortina, Italy. In October the organizers informed the International Olympic Committee that the Italian government wanted the sliding events moved because it had become too expensive to refurbish the existing tracks, which had been used during the 1956 Olympics and subsequently closed. Bids were then requested from any current sliding venues to host the 2026 competitions.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland announced Thursday that the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid wants in.

“Their expertise and dedication have really made them an ideal candidate to host the sliding sports of bobsled, skeleton and luge. The USOPC stands firmly behind this bid effort and believes that their proposal presents a compelling solution to host an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience.”

The bid details bobsled, luge and skeleton facilities in Lake Placid and cites decades of experience hosting major winter sports events. It outlines the location for an athletes’ village, spectator accommodations and provides a logistical plan and proposed schedule to shuttle athletes between Lake Placid, New York City and Milan. Olympic Regional Development Authority Director of Communications Darcy Rowe Norfolk is also bid director.

“The IOC recommended to Milano-Cortina that it consider only existing operating tracks for this bid. And we are an active and fully operational track right here in New York state that is willing and able to serve and be a part of the Olympic movement in this capacity. So right now we even are hosting the luge World Cup, which kicks off the season in luge. And so just an example of how we are at a high level giving athletes great experiences and willing and able to host great events.”

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones supports the ORDA bid. The Democrat says, win or lose, it’s a way to showcase the world class facilities in Lake Placid.

“New York state has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in these facilities in the past several years. You know the Olympics are set to be in Milan-Cortina and they do not have a track. So what do we have in Lake Placid? World class facilities for the sliding sports. So why wouldn’t we put in a bid? We also marry in New York City on this because we have proposed to having the medal ceremonies at Rockefeller Center. ORDA put together a wonderful proposal and this is a solution for the IOC for a situation that they find themselves in. And we’re ready to go.”

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee says Salt Lake City, which is the site of the only other sliding complex in the U.S., declined to submit a bid because it’s preparing for the 2034 Winter Olympics.