Saranac Lake, N.Y. -- Prior to Saturday's start of the U.S. Alpine Championships at nearby Whiteface Mountain, area kids are invited ski with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, including members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team, this Friday, March 19, from 4-6 p.m. ET at Mt. Pisgah in Saranac Lake. This special Lift Mt. Pisgah fundraising event will feature an hour and a half of skiing with the Olympic athletes, including two-time World Cup giant slalom title winner and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) and Jimmy Cochran (Keene, N.H.). Olympic super G bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), who grew up skiing at Whiteface, will be on hand to sign autographs, but will miss skiing due to recent shoulder surgery. "These little hills are really what our sport is all about," said Cochran, a two-time Olympian whose family runs a similar small ski area outside of Burlington, VT and will be on hand Friday. "There's nothing like the energy you get of ripping around with your friends after school. I wish more communities had cool places like Mt. Pisgah. They're such and incredible community resource." Mt. Pisgah is currently open Tuesday through Thursday, from 4:30-7:30 p.m., and will be open Friday for the event. Tickets are $15* and include skiing with the Team, a U.S. Ski Team sticker pack and an opportunity to meet the athletes. "Small local areas like Mt. Pisgah play an important role introducing young boys and girls to our sports," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt. "Each of the 17 athletes who won 21 medals in Vancouver had their start at a local area. Their dreams were fulfilled through the ability to participate in sport at areas like Mt. Pisgah, together with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association clubs like NYSEF and many others!" "The Village of Saranac Lake and the Friends of Mt Pisgah applaud Bill Marolt and the U.S. Ski Team for their support of such a big project," said Mt. Pisgah Manager Matt Cook. "Mt Pisgah is a true grassroots ski area with strong ties to several local Olympians. Having our 2010 American Alpine Olympians skiing here at Mt. Pisgah on Friday night will certainly prove to the community at large that anything is possible!" All proceeds from the event will go directly towards the Friends of Mt. Pisgah effort to replace the antiquated T-Bar currently serving the Village owned facility. In 1989 the group collected $35,000 for piping to put in a snow-making, and in 1999, volunteers raised half a million dollars and built the current ski lodge after a wall on the old lodge caved in. "Fundraising for a new Dopplemayr-CTEC surface lift is going in the right direction," added Cook. "We're in our second year of fundraising and support from the community has been incredible. Friday should be a great event and we couldn't be more excited to host the U.S. Ski Team." For more information, call 518.891.0970.
###About ORDA: Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA operates Whiteface and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speedskating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena. As host to international and national championships, the Authority has brought millions of athletes, spectator and participants to the region, resulting in significant economic development. CONTACT: Jon Lundin, ORDA public relations coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org (518) 523-1655 ext. 213