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Empire State Games start in Lake Placid after a year in which COVID cancelled the winter competitions.

After halting last year’s games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Empire State Winter Games got underway Thursday night in Lake Placid. The opening ceremonies launched this year’s games that will feature 21 sports, including five adaptive sports.

The opening ceremony kicked off with the march of the athletes, walking into the ceremony by sport. Figure skating featured the most athletes, while adaptive biathlon featured the least.

When the march of the athletes concluded, competitors were greeted with videos from olympians that competed in previous games and the olympic torch’s trips to Buffalo and New York City.

Festivities continued with the Lake Placid ESG torch lighting, one that included sliding down a toboggan, speed skating across Mirror Lake, and dogs sledding on the lake. The torch was lit by Amanda Emmerle, the 2021 Athlete of the Year. It officially kicked off the beginning of three days full of competition.

Eleven events highlight today’s schedule and the games continue through the weekend.