Mission, Vision & Values

Mission: Tell the world about the Olympic movement and Lake Placid’s rich winter sports history in order to promote the values of the Olympic Games to the broadest possible audience.  

Vision: Build and inspire an awareness for this and future generations through the stories of the Olympic Winter Games. 

Olympism is defined by the International Olympic Committee as a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in balance whole the qualities of body, will, and mind.  

Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for fundamental ethical principles.

Museum History

In 1974, shortly after the 1980 Olympic Winter Games were awarded to Lake Placid, members of the community decided to create a collection of materials pertaining to the Games for future use in a museum/research facility. At the end of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, the Olympic and Winter Sports Museum, a private, not-for-profit museum, was opened at the former Austria House in Lake Placid. 

In 1981, the New York State Legislature created the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to manage the 1980 Olympic venues and to ensure their use by the public for sporting, recreational, and educational purposes.  

The museum entered into a facility management contract with ORDA in August 1994, and a museum board was formed to establish and oversee the implementation of policies for the museum’s governance and operation. Then the 1932 & 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum opened to the public. This private, not-for-profit group received a provisional charter from the NYS Board of Regents in April 1995. In November 1996, the museum board entered into an agreement with ORDA to define the roles they would both play regarding the museum, and to ensure that it was operated in accordance with professional museum standards. In October 1998, the museum was granted 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status by the IRS. On October 11, 2000, the Town of North Elba gave the collection to the 1932 & 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum, allowing the museum to obtain an Absolute Charter from the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York Education Department. Absolute Charter number 23,071 was granted to the museum on December 15, 2000. 

The museum received the 2005 Olympic Cup, the oldest award given by the International Olympic Committee, the first time a museum had received the award. The Cup, which originated in 1906, is given for recognition of an institution or association with general reputation for merit and integrity that has been active in service of sport and contributed to the development of the Olympic Movement. The award was accepted on behalf of the people of the Lake Placid region.  

In August 2011, because the collection had grown to represent more than the two Games held in Lake Placid, the museum changed its name to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. 

In March 2021, the museum and Olympic Center began a major renovation of the building. Part of this renovation includes a new state-of-the-art museum experience that is expected to open in late 2022. 


Executive Board:

Jonathan Becker – President

Tom Mason – Vice President

Kelly Gonyo – Treasurer

Catherine Bemis – Secretary


Board Members:

Nancy Beattie

Krista Berger

Denis Chagnon

Sean Donovan

Greg Gallacher

Stuart Hemsley

Kari Hoffman

Gordy Sheer


Founded in 2006, in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Olympic Museums Network (OMN) was established with 11 founding members, with the aim of finding ways of working together on useful synergies and joint projects to improve the quality of Olympic movement exhibitions and increase the transfer of knowledge among member museums.  

The Lake Placid Olympic Museum was inducted into the prestigious network in October 2021 in recognition of the all the hard work the museum staff, board of trustees, ORDA, and the Adirondack community has put into making the museum a world-class destination for winter Olympic history.  

Visit the Olympic Museums Network




This Logo Has Tales to Tell


Olympic Museum Receives Partnership Grant




ORDA Offers Sneak Peek at New Olympic Museum

Flynn, Andy. “ORDA Offers Sneak Peek at New Olympic Museum.” News, Sports, Jobs – Lake Placid News, Lake Placid News, 23 June 2022, https://www.lakeplacidnews.com/news/local-news/2022/06/23/orda-offers-sneak-peek-at-new-olympic-museum/.

WE ARE LAKE PLACID podcast: Alison Haas, Lake Placid Olympic Museum


Decker, Weibrecht greet fans at Olympic Museum


OLYMPIC HISTORY: Abolition skate a museum mystery



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