LAKE PLACID - The FIBT World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships will return to the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg in February.
In 1949, Lake Placid became the first village outside of Europe to host a world championship event. Since then, the two-time Olympic village has staged eight world championship races, most recently in 2009, when Steven Holcomb piloted his four-man sled to victory to claim the United States' first four-man crown since 1959. The same sled went on to win the gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"Our team is excited to be competing on our home soil for the 2012 world championships, and we hope our fans are too," said United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele. "There should be a lot to cheer about as our athletes take to the ice to claim the world title in our backyard. Lake Placid always hosts a wonderful event, and we couldn't be happier about coming home at the end of the season."
The world championship is coming to Lake Placid one year sooner than expected. Lake Placid was originally awarded the 2013 Worlds during the 2009 FIBT Congress, but switched races with St. Moritz, Switzerland, which was scheduled to host the 2012 event.
"The change was made because of team travel to Sochi, Russia for international training in 2013," said ORDA president/CEO Ted Blazer. "The FIBT felt that it would be easier for teams to travel to Sochi for Olympic training from St. Moritz, rather than Lake Placid. This left us a shorter time to prepare, but everyone is pulling together to get the venue ready and to give these world-class athletes the best race and the best experience possible. We're ready to host the world again."
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg track will begin gearing up for this race and the winter season when it opens for sliding Monday, Oct. 10 (weather permitting). Last season, the track was open from Oct. 15, 2010 to April 10, 2011, setting the mark for the longest season in the world. There were more than 27,000 athlete trips down the track.
"The start of the sliding season is just around the corner," said Tony Carlino, the track's manager. "This is always an exciting and anxious time building up to the season. We're looking forward to another full calendar of sliding and racing, culminating with Worlds."
Training for the FIBT World Championships begins on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Racing begins Friday, Feb. 17, with the first two of four runs of the women's bobsled race. Runs three and four are slated for Saturday, Feb. 18, along with the first two runs of the men's two-man bobsled race. The two-man race concludes Sunday, Feb. 19, with heats three and four.
The men's and women's skeleton events are slated for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, while the four-man race highlights Saturday and Sunday's, Feb. 25 and 26, race schedules. Runs one and two are scheduled for Saturday and the final two runs are scheduled for that Sunday.
Information provided by ORDA.