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Mayor Clyde Rabideau and Olympic mom Helen Demong. Photo: Mark Kurtz, used by permission
Mayor Clyde Rabideau and Olympic mom Helen Demong. Photo: Mark Kurtz, used by permission

An Olympic pep rally in Saranac Lake

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Friday is the opening ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

There will be a lighting of the Olympic torch in Lake Placid at 6 pm and the opening ceremonies will be televised on the big screen at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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"I'm really excited and proud to represent our town," Cook said. "We hope to do our best - wahoo!"
Yesterday in Saranac Lake, local residents from the Tri-Lakes gathered at the Harrietstown hall to hold a kind of pep-rally for North Country athletes traveling to Russia.  Brian Mann was there.

Future Olympians? Photo: Zoe Smith, used by permission
Future Olympians? Photo: Zoe Smith, used by permission
I’m guessing that the opening ceremony in Sochi will be huge and splashy with all the bells and whistles, but nobody anywhere will top the energy in Harrietstown hall yesterday as the Saranac Lake High school band played the Olympic theme song.

The room was packed with kids and parents.  Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau emceed the show, giving shout-outs to a tiny mountain community that helped launch a remarkable cadre of athletes.

"We got some great athletes and I see that we have a lot of people here from Dewey Mountain!"

Annelies Cook from Saranac Lake is one of three Adirondackers who will ski and shoot for the US biathlon team in Sochi Russia. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em>
Annelies Cook from Saranac Lake is one of three Adirondackers who will ski and shoot for the US biathlon team in Sochi Russia. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Annelies Cook – who had a trail at Dewey Mountain named after her this winter.  Cook checked in at the rally through a video message.

"I'm really excited and proud to represent our town," Cook said.  "We hope to do our best - wahoo!"

Town of Franklin Supervisor Art Willman voiced the hope of many here that the North Country can repeat its success in Sochi — not just as an incubator of top winter athletes, but as a region that actually wins medals.

In 2010, the North Country accounted for roughly 10 percent of all the medals captured by the United States.

This send-off event came smack in the middle of Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival, so the Olympic trappings shared the Harrietstown hall with banners and royalty from that other winter festival.

See all of our Olympics stories and coverage on NCPR's Sochi page.

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