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’32 Winter Olympics 80 years later, Part 2

January 21, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The following stories about preparation for the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid are taken from copies of the front pages of The Lake Placid News of Jan. 15-22, 1932.

Many of the teams were arriving only a few days before the opening of the Games February 4 for a few days of practice in the various disciplines. Additional research reveals that the Games end on Feb. 13, l4 or 15, depending on which publication one wants to believe.

There was no Olympic Village, the teams stayed in cottages throughout the village with probably the most staying at the Lake Placid Club; and there was no Olympic torch lighting.

Article Photos

The official poster of the 1932 Olympic Games
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

There were 252 athletes entered in the Games, 231 men and 21 women.


Population growth

But the population of Lake Placid was growing; with no credit to the Olympic Games. There were more births than deaths in 1931 with statistics provided by Mrs. Ethel Wells, clerk of the Town of North Elba.


"Ninety-five births were recorded in 1931 with only 71 the preceding year, an increase of 24 residents to help swell the census records of the North Elba health district. Deaths decreased by five, 56 death certificates being issued in 1931, with 61 the year before. The number of marriage licenses issued in 1930 was 41, reduced to 40 in 1931."


Hockey squad selected

"The hockey squad of 14 players, which will represent the United States in the Olympic Winter Games, will arrive in Lake Placid tomorrow from Boston to spend the following 10 days in practice.

"Those selected were: Goalies - Franklin Farrell, formerly of Yale and Ted Frazier, Boston Hockey Club; defensemen - John Garrison, formerly of Harvard; Robert Livingston and Buzz Hallock, formerly of Princeton; first forward line Winthrop (Bing) Palmer, formerly of Yale; John Chase, formerly of Harvard; and Douglas Everett, ex-Dartmouth star; second forward line John Cookman, Frank Nelson and Jack Bent, all former Yale players; spares - Ty Anderson, Pete Sanford and John Fitzgerald, all of Boston."


Finnish, Swedish, Italian teams arrive

"A vanguard of Finnish delegates, including six skiers and one figure skater arrived in Lake Placid last Friday, Jan. 15, to add to the ever-increasing group of Olympic competitors entered in the Games.

"Although this group of skiers is the smallest in number to arrive here, many of the competitors have national championship records. Fartti Lapppalainen, national champion in 1929, 1930 and 1931, in the 10-kilometer race, is expected to give other ski contestants keen competition.

"The speed skaters who remained in Europe to participate in the European Championships in Davos, Switzerland will arrive later in the month and will remain in Lake Placid through Feb. 20 to take part in the World's Speed Skating Championships to be held here under the auspices of the Lake Placid Athletic Club, Feb. 19 and 20.

"They are being housed at the ware Cottage."


"Desiring to reach a countryside which more clearly resembled their native land, , the Swedish team of 18 lost no time in coming to Lake Placid after they landed in New York. The skyscrapers of New York and the general bustle of this cosmopolitan city were somewhat overwhelming.

"After a brisk morning greeting here they went directly to Spruce Lodge, where the entire contingent is housed, and before many minutes the spicy odor of Swedish baking was seeping from the kitchen."


"From small mountain villages of Italy nine hardy skiers of the Italian Alps have come to Lake Placid to represent their country in skiing. With the group are a bobsled team, which will compete in both the four-man and two-man events, and two press representatives who will send news of their team and reports of the Games to their native newspapers.

"The bobsledders include Count T. Rossi, Captain I. Casini, G. Lanfranchi and A. Lanfranchi, the latter being famous in Europe where he has won many honors in skeleton racing.

"Those who will enter the 50-kilometer ski race are Giovanni Delago, Francesco Dezulian, Lorenzo Colturi and Erminio Sertorelli while Colturi is also entered in the 18-kilometer race. Jumpers and other 18-kilometer competitors are Ingenuino Delage, Ernesto Zardini, Andrea Vuerich, Gino Solda and Severino Menardi.

"The group is being housed at the Lake Placid Club, Lakeside Inn and the Mapledale Cottage on Main Street."


Olympic briefs

"Great Britain's youthful figure skating team will be the only contestants entered from that country. Miss Megan Taylor, 11-year-old figure skating champion and Miss Magdalen Cecil Colledge 11-year-old runner-up arrived in lake Placid last week and are training at the new Olympic Ice Arena."


"Word has been received here by Thomas Faherty, secretary of the local Chamber of Commerce, that the Goodyear blimp, 'Columbia' will soar over Lake Placid during the period of the Olympic games. The blimp will carry seven passengers.

"Also the U.S. dirigible, 'Los Angeles' will visit Lake Placid sometime during the games."


"A group of eight Czechoslovakian skiers are expected to arrive in Lake Placid this morning. Skiing is the only sport in which this country is entered."



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