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Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen shares his Olympic journey

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Wed, Feb 19th 2020 01:50 pm

Lake Placid continues to celebrate Olympic legacy & 40th anniversary of 1980 Olympic Winter Games

Lake Placid continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games this Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m., when four-time Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen shares his emotional journey to an eventual Olympic gold medal, at the Lake Placid’s High Peaks Resort.

Jansen, a five-time World Sprint Championship medalist and seven-time overall World Cup champion, competed in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

Prior to competing in the 1988 winter Games, in Calgary, Alberta – where he was the favorite to win the 500 and 1,000-meter races, Jansen was informed his 27-year-old sister, Jane, was dying from leukemia. Shortly afterward, he was notified of her passing.

With a heavy heart, he competed in the 500-meter and 1,000-meter events and fell during both races. For his efforts, he was awarded the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award.

Four years later, in Albertville, France, Jansen finished just off the podium, fourth in 500-meters, and 26th in the 1,000-meters.

Finally, in 1994, Jansen set a new world record en route to the 1,000-meter gold medal. He was also chosen to carry the U.S. flag during the Games’ closing ceremony.

In 2004, Jansen was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. In memory of his sister, he established the Dan Jansen Foundation, which provides financial support and distributes funds to charities with an emphasis on aiding individuals and families affected by cancer.

Other events remaining on the 40th anniversary schedule include:

•Wednesday, Feb. 19, movie, “Miracle,” at Palace Theatre

•Thursday, Feb. 20, meet-and-greet USA bobsled Olympians, past, present and future at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Lamy Lodge

Friday, Feb. 21, ’80s Family Fun Park, Olympic jumping complex; meet-and-greet USA skeleton Olympians, past, present and future at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Lamy Lodge

•Saturday, Feb. 22, book signing, “Boys of Winter,” with author Wayne Coffey at Bookstore Plus; fun zone in the evening at Mid’s Park, Main Street

For a full schedule of the 40th anniversary of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games, visit LakePlacid40.com.

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