SARANAC LAKE - "Olympic History" will be the focus of the final seminar of the "History Matters" talks at the Saranac Laboratory this spring.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, the public is invited to attend a panel discussion with Howard Riley, Jim Rogers and Jack LaDuke.
In 1967 Riley covered the Lake Placid Olympic bid being considered by the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Lake Placid lost the bid to Denver. Riley then covered the Lake Placid bid before the IOC in Lusanne, Switzerland in 1973 for the 1976 Olympics when Denver backed out. He served as director of the International Olympic Committee president's staff for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
Riley is a former editor, writer, typesetter and delivery boy of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, and former editor of the Lake Placid News. He worked as general manager of the Lake Placid Club. He served as Saranac Lake village manager, mayor of Saranac Lake, village trustee, and Harrietstown councilman. He presently serves as a Harrietstown justice and as a weekly columnist on local history for the Enterprise.
Rogers was a charter member of the Lake Placid Sports Council in December 1961, when that group was part of the creation of the bid attempt for the 1968 Winter Olympics. He was part of the bid process for the 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980 games. Initially he was on the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee in 1974 as chairman of ceremonies and vice chairman of the Environmental Council chaired by Vern Lamb. In 1976 he was made chairman of the Protocol Division, which was responsible for the ceremonies as well as accreditation of athletes and officials, hostesses, the arts program and hosting the IOC Congress in Lake Placid. During the games, while he was busy in Lake Placid, his WNBZ radio staff put together an exceptional team to cover the 1980 Winter Olympics. He and his wife Keela owned WNBZ in Saranac Lake from 1963 until 1998.
LaDuke has provided journalistic coverage of winter sports events on the Lake Placid venues since 1950. He was the head cameraman for CBS News during their coverage of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He became the audio-visual director for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1977 and served there until the games ended, giving him a close-up look at the running of an Olympics.
The "History Matters" seminars meet in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church St. The series is presented by Historic Saranac Lake in collaboration with Paul Smith's College. Entrance is $5 per person, free for members of Historic Saranac Lake.
Light refreshments will be provided.